Sensex Ends 67 Points Lower; Pharma, Metal Stocks Crack



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Mumbai, Feb 15 (PTI) Benchmark indices reeled under selling pressure for the seventh straight session Friday as pharma, metal, auto and banking stocks led losses amid sustained foreign fund outflows and muted earnings season.

However, emergence of buying in power, energy and PSU stocks in the last one hour of the session and covering-up of short positions by speculators wiped off most losses.

The 30-share Sensex after slumping 365 points to hit a low of 35,510.97 intra-day, recouped most of the lost ground on fag-end buying, and finally settled with a modest fall of 67.27 points, or 0.19 per cent down at 35,808.95.

The index has now lost a lost over 1,165  points in seven sessions.

The broader NSE Nifty, after shuttling between 10,620.40 and 10,785.75, settled at 10,724.40 points, down by 21.65 points, or 0.20 per cent.

On a weekly basis, the BSE index dropped 737.53 points, or over 2 per cent; while NSE Nifty fell 219.20 points, or 2 per cent.

Top losers include Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, Vedanta, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Finance, SBI, Axis Bank, HDFC and Maruti, falling up to 3.94 per cent.

On the other hand, NTPC, PowerGrid, ONGC, RIL, L&T, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors and Coal India were among the gainers, rising up to 4.13 per cent.

A weak trend at other Asian bourses, tracking overnight losses at the US markets after US retail sales recorded its biggest drop since 2009, raising fresh doubts about the strength of the US economy, also weighed on market sentiment, brokers said.

Besides, investors remained cautious ahead of the outcome of the ongoing trade talks between the US and China.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 250.23 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,225.24 crore on Thursday, provisional data showed.

Rising global crude prices dented the rupee, which depreciated by another 28 paise to 71.44 against the dollar intra-day.

The Brent crude futures, the international benchmark, advanced to USD 65.10 per barrel, their highest level in nearly three months.

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