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Sensex slips below 28,000; HDFC, ICICI Bank dip over 1%

Benchmark share indices extended losses tracking weak global cues with financials and IT major Infosys leading the decline

At 9:50AM, the 30-share Sensex was down 210 points at 27,902 and the 50-share Nifty was down 63 points at 8,648.

Technical analysts at Anand Rathi suggest that the S&P BSE Sensex now needs to cross and hold above 28,500 levels to bounce back towards 28800 and 29000 levels. “On the downside, support exists at around 28,000 and below that bears may drag the index towards 27,850 levels,” they said in a report.

Mortgage lender HDFC was down 3% contributing the most to the Sensex losses along with ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and index heavtyweight Infosys.

Among individual S&P BSE Sensex stocks, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Wipro, Tata Motors and ICICI Bank were the top losers that slipped 1.1% – 3.2%. Bharti Airtel, BHEL, Tata Power, GAIL India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto and Tata Steel were some of the gainers. They moved up 0.4% – 1.7%.

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(Updated at 9:30AM)

Benchmark share indices opened lower, amid weak global cues with financials leading the decline. Meanwhile, markets are likely to remain volatile in the latter half of the trading session ahead of the March F&O expiry today.

At 9:30AM, the 30-share Sensex was down 166 points at 27,946 and the 50-share Nifty was down 49 points at 8,482.

Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors were net buyers in equities to the tune of Rs 813 crore, as per provisional stock exchange data.

Analysts say that till the Nifty doesn’t negate the formation of making lower lows on the charts, it may continue to trade weak and dip further. On the other hand, if it manages to hold previous day’s low and moves above 8,575 level, only then a bounceback move led by short-covering rally may be seen. Overall, it seems that shorts are not in hurry to exit their position.

Nifty Future has seen a rollover of 58.23% for the March series, data suggests. Capital Goods, Media, Pharma, Oil & Gas, Textile, Metals, FMCG, Auto and Technology stocks are top in sector-wise rollover. Indiabulls Realestate, JSW Steel, SAIL, Grasim, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), HDFC Bank, Sun Pharma, BHEL and Maruti Suzuki top in stock-wise rollover.

GLOBAL MARKETS

Asian share markets were mostly lower on Thursday as tensions in the Middle East and losses on Wall Street soured sentiment, while the dollar’s bull run looked to have stalled for the time being.

Risk appetite took a knock from news Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies had launched air strikes in Yemen against Houthi fighters who have tightened their grip on the southern city of Aden.

On Wall Street, a drop in technology stocks knocked the Nasdaq down 2.37 percent for its biggest decline in nearly a year. The Dow fell 1.62 percent, while the S&P 500 lost 1.46 percent.

SECTORS & STOCKS

BSE Realty, Consumer Durables, Auto, Bankex, Capital Goods and FMCG indices were down 0.2-0.8% each. Power, Oil and Gas indices were trading flat with positive bias.

Financials witnessed profit taking after gains in the previous session. HDFC, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were down 0.5-1.8% each.

Tata Motors was down nearly 2%. The stock had gained on Wednesday after the board approved issue of  6 fully paid-up Ordinary shares for every 109 fully paid-up Ordinary shares held at a price of Rs 450 per shareand 26.5 million ‘A’ Ordinary shares at Rs 271 per share. The company’s board also approved the buy-back of Secured Non-Convertible Debentures worth Rs 1250 crore issued by it in May 2009, maturity date being March 31, 2016.

Pharma shares which had gained on the back of merger deal between Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy Labs also witnessed profit taking. Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy’s Labs were down 0.8-1.4% each.

Bharti Airtel was up 0.3% as the spectrum auction came to an end on Wednesday. Idea Cellular was up 1.6% and Reliance communications was up 1%.

Power stocks firmed up after  the government on Wednesday approved a mechanism for importing gas for power generation and supply of such power through a subsidy grant. The subsidy will be available to distribution companies. GAIL was up 1.5% while Tata Power was up 0.3%.