Sensex slides 137 pts, Nifty ends at 10,458 ahead of long weekend

Out of 50 stocks in the Nifty index, 18 closed in the green and 32 in the red.

Watch: Market shrugs off positive GDP numbers; Sensex sinks 137 pts, Nifty ends below 10,500
NEW DELHI: Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty closed in the red for a third straight session on Thursday, bogged down by weak global cues and on indication of more rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell.

The widening of India’s fiscal deficit, which at Rs 6.77 lakh crore for the April-January period was 113.7 per cent of the revised full-year estimate of Rs 5.94 lakh crore, too hit the sentiment.

Even the better-than-expected GDP data -- at 7.2 per cent for December quarter -- failed to boost Indian equities.


The BSE Sensex closed 137 points, or 0.40 per cent, down at 34,047, while the Nifty50 settled 35 points, or 0.33 per cent, down at 10,458 on Thursday.

“Benchmark equity indices traded in a tight range, but kept hovering between the red and green zones following mixed reactions to news flow from global and domestic markets. The automobile sector is expected to be in focus next week as the companies release sales figures for February. Among other sectors, a rise in prices of steel post the release of strong economic data in China boosted buying in shares of metal companies,” said - Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager-Equities, BNP Paribas MF.

In broader markets, BSE Midcap index underperformed Sensex to close 0.61 per cent down at 16,461. On the other hand, the BSE Smallcap index closed 0.24 per cent lower at 18,085.
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Out of 50 stocks in the Nifty50 index, 18 closed the day in the green and 32 in the red.

All sectoral indices on the NSE closed in the red.

BPCL rose over 3 per cent to emerge as the top gainer in Nifty50 index. The pack of gainers included Coal India, Aurobindo Pharma and IndusInd Bank.

On the contrary, ICICI Bank declined nearly 3 per cent to settle as the top loser of the day. It was followed by Vedanta, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, State Bank of India and Hindalco Industries, each declining over 2 per cent in the Nifty50 index.
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PSU banks continued to remain among the top decliners on Thursday.

The top loser among the sectoral indices, Nifty PSU Bank index closed 1.87 per cent down with, apart from IDBI Bank, all components in the red. The IDBI Bank, bucking the trend, closed the day 8 per cent up on the NSE. The shares of the public-sector lender have caught investors' attention after the global rating agency Moody's Investors Service changed the bank's outlook to positive from stable.
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As many as 21 stocks hit fresh 52-week highs on NSE compared with 29 stocks that touched their new 52-week lows.

European stocks declined on Thursday, reacting to some uninspiring earnings, while Asian peers remained mixed. The Hang Seng and Shanghai SE Composite Index closed the day in the green, while Nikkei 225 closed by over 1 per cent down.

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