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Markets end flat after falling over 2%, IT stocks gain

Last updated on: August 28, 2013 16:11 IST

Markets end flat after falling over 2%, IT stocks gain

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Aastha Agnihotri in Mumbai

Markets ended on a flat note after a volatile trading session this Wednesday on back of buying witnessed in software exporters amid expectations of profit margin improvement after rupee touched yet another record low of 68 per US dollar.

Life Insurance Corporation was spotted buying shares on Wednesday which allowed India's main indexes to cut losses, Reuters reported today.

The 30-share Sensex gained 28.07 points or 0.16 per cent to close at 17,996.15 and the 50-share Nifty dropped 2.45 points or 0.05 per cent at 5,285 levels.

The Futures and Options expiry of August derivate contracts tomorrow coupled with first-quarter GDP data on Friday will determine the market trend going ahead, said  market experts.

Earlier in the day, markets slumped with 50-share Nifty falling below the key support level of 5,200 on concerns that the country’s fiscal deficit may widen further after Lok Sabha approved $20 billion plan to provide cheap food to poor people.

Risk appetite further dampened on fear over military action by the US after Secretary of State John Kerry held Syrian government accountable for using chemical weapons in an attack over civilians.

The broader markets ended with mid-caps and small-caps dropping nearly 1 per cent on the BSE.

The market breadth was negative. Out of 2,337 stocks traded, 1,346 stocks declined while 860 stocks advanced on the BSE.

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Image: Bombay Stock Exchange.
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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RUPEE

The rupee once again weakened against the dollar in today due to month-end dollar demand, said currency dealers.

At 3:50PM, the rupee was trading at Rs 68.16 per dollar compared to Tuesday's close of 66.24/25 on the Interbank Foreign Exchange. The currency touched an all-time low of Rs 68.75 in early trades.

The previous all-time low was Rs 66.19 per dollar, a level the rupee had ended on yesterday. The currency has fallen more than 8% so far this week.

GLOBAL MARKETS

Asian stocks fell while Brent crude surged to over 2-year high on brewing tensions between Syria and US.

Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.5% to 13,338, Singapore’s Straits Times fell 1% to 3,004, China’s Shanghai Composite index was down 0.1%  at 2,101 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.6 % to 21,52 4 today.

European markets also opened lower. France’s CAC was tad up 0.01% to 3,969, Germany’s DAX shed 0.7% to 8,186 while UK’s FTSE was down 0.4% to 6,413.

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Image: Bombay Stock Exchange.
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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STOCK MOVERS

Domestically, barring IT, healthcare and metal indices, rest all declined with banks, realty, capital goods, oil & gas, PSU leading the drop on the BSE.

The gainers included counters such as Tata Power rising 3.3%, Wipro and TCS gained 3.6% each, Jindal Steel gained 3.7% while Hindalco Industries was up 3% on the BSE.

The laggards were ONGC declined 6%, HDFC shed 7%, GAIL fell over 4% while Bharti Airtel declined 2.2% on the BSE.

The key notable movers included counters such as Strides Arcolab that ended higher 7% on reports that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has cleared the long-pending $1.8-billion investment proposal by US generic drug maker Mylan Inc, to acquire Strides Arcolab’s injectible unit, Agila Specialities.

Shares of information technology (IT) companies are in demand in otherwise weak market after buoyed by the depreciation of rupee against the dollar. The Indian currency rupee breached the 67-a-dollar mark, hitting another life-low today.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro, Infosys, MphasiS, MindTree, HCL Technologies and Tech Mahindra ended higher by 1-6% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Cairn India rallied nearly 5% to Rs 325 after crude oil prices climbed to two-year high on report that Western powers prepared for possible military action against Syria over the regime's alleged use of chemical weapons.


Photographs: Reuters

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