Sensex remains volatile for second day, ends slightly lower

Sensex remains volatile for second day, ends slightly lower

The Sensex, which had lost 196 points in the previous day's trading and a further 310 points in early trade on Tuesday, closed the day at 14,324.01, lower by 2.21 points.

However, the 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty, which moved between 4,143.2 and 4,267.45 during the day, ended 11.75 points higher at 4,247.00.

Trading sentiment was dampened as global markets recorded heavy losses after the World Bank forecast a deeper global recession than estimated earlier, reducing demand for commodities.

Banking, metal and consumer durables stocks led the fall while refinery and power stocks prevented a major decline.

ICICI Bank fell 4.05 per cent to Rs 697.45 and HDFC Bank by 3.55 per cent to Rs 1,485.55.

Market-heaviest Reliance Industries gained 3.26 per cent to Rs 2,016.05, and ONGC 3.30 per cent to Rs 1,026.45 on news of the PSU's gas discoveries in the KG basin.

The banking sector index suffered the most, losing 2.14 per cent to 7,950.32, followed by the metal index, which lost 1.52 per cent to 10,612.02 as Sterlite Industries dropped after copper prices tumbled the most in four months.

The stock markets commenced the day distinctly lower following a steep fall in Asian bourses, led by Hong Kong and Japan, in line with the melting Wall Street, after the World Bank forecast a deeper global recession than estimated earlier.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank 2.6 per cent to 99.28 at midsession in Tokyo, the biggest drop in more than a month. The gauge has climbed 41 per cent from a more than five-year low on March 9, on optimism that government stimulus efforts and interest rate cuts had stemmed the global recession.

The 30-stock BSE Sensex went up in the last 30 minutes of trading on a sharp recovery in market-heaviest Reliance Industries, which surged on reports that the company has put the cost of producing natural gas from its prolific Krishna Godavari basin fields at USD 2.9 per million British thermal units and the firm will earn a pre-tax return of 13 per cent.

Among the three gainers, the oil and gas index rose the most, 2.62 per cent, to 9,312.93, followed by the public sector undertaking index, 2.11 per cent, to 7,874.17.

The power index rose 1.31 per cent to 2,798.17 after NTPC, the biggest electricity producer, went up 2.54 per cent to Rs 195.85 following the PSU's announcement that it is open to buying natural gas at current market rates and in talks with Reliance Industries.

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