Markets start March series with a fall, Trump speech looms

Markets start March series with a fall, Trump speech looms
Stock markets showed weakness on the first session of the new derivatives series today, with the BSE Sensex slipping 80 points to 28,813, as investors chose to sit tight ahead of a speech by US President Donald Trump before the Congress this week.

The benchmark indices closed lower for the first time in last seven trading sessions, weighed down by banking, auto, power, PSU, capital goods, technology and metal stocks.

The NSE Nifty also cracked below the 8,900-mark. The selling came in the face of start of March futures and options series in the derivatives segment, dealers said.

Despite opening higher, the 30-share Sensex stayed in the negative zone for the most part and touched a low of 28,791.19 as investors booked profits in recent gainers. The gauge settled down 80.09 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 28,812.88.

The index had gained 737.41 points in the previous six sessions. The 50-share NSE Nifty ended lower by 42.80 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 8,896.70, after touching a high of 8,951.80 and a low of 8,888.65.

"Market oscillated between gains and losses and finally settled in the red as the higher valuation overruled any exuberance for further upside. Additionally, market is awaiting Q3 2016-17 GDP data on Tuesday," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

Axis Bank crashed the maximum, down 3.56 per cent, followed by PowerGrid 3.14 per cent and Bharti Airtel 2.83 per cent. Other losers were ICICI Bank 1.97 per cent, Maruti Suzuki 1.38 per cent, L&T 1.20 per cent, Dr Reddy's 1.12 per cent and Tata Motors 1.02 per cent.

However, market heavyweight RIL soared 4.74 per cent to Rs 1,238.60. Last week, its telecom arm Jio had said it would start charging for data services from April, thus providing clarity on the way forward.

Intra-day, RIL rose over 6 per cent to a more than 7-1/2 year high, with its market valuation getting past the Rs 4 lakh crore mark. Other gainers were HUL, Wipro, Lupin, Coal India, Infosys and TCS.

European stocks witnessed a mixed trend, taking a weak lead from Asian losses as investors waited for a speech to the Congress by Trump this week, traders said.
In the 30-share Sensex constituents, 23 ended lower and 7 higher.

However, broader markets showed the upward trend as small-cap rose 0.16 per cent and mid-cap indices edged up 0.01 per cent. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 392.33 crore on Thursday, provisional data showed. Stocks market was closed on Friday on account of Shivratri.
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