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Sensex slides 162 pts, Nifty50 below 10,500 ahead of GDP data

Indian equity market fell for a second straight session on Wednesday

Indian equity market fell for a second straight session on Wednesday, taking cues from weak global markets and dismal domestic PMI data, amid continued selling in bank, metal and capital goods stocks.

The BSE Sensex closed 162 points, or 0.47 per cent, down at 34,184, while Nifty50 ended 61 points, or 0.58 per cent, lower at 10,493.

In line with Asian peers, domestic key indices closed in the red after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s rate hike comments on Tuesday pushed up bond yields and hurt equities worldwide.

A sustained selling in private bank, financial, FMCG, metal and pharma counters weighed on the bourses. Investors were also jittery ahead of the release of GDP numbers later in the day on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, a data showed that manufacturing sector growth eased slightly in February as factory output and new business orders rose at a slower pace.

The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell from 52.4 in January to 52.1 in February, indicating a modest improvement in operating conditions, PTI reported.

“We expect the Indian equities to consolidate in the coming sessions without any major triggers in the near term. However, any further correction at this juncture should be considered as a healthy buying opportunity for investors in quality companies with strong financials and bright outlook. Meanwhile traders should remain cautious and keep their positions hedged, as volatility is likely to remain high in the coming sessions,” said Jayant Manglik, President at Religare Broking.

In broader markets, BSE Midcap index closed 0.23 per cent down, however, the Smallcap index closed 0.21 per cent higher, outperforming benchmark Sensex.

In the NSE Nifty index, 21 out of 50 stocks closed in the green, while 29 gained.

Private banks, including ICICI BankBSE -1.92 %, Axis BankBSE -1.47 %, YES Bank, IDFC Bank and HDFC BankBSE -1.07 %, remained among top losers of the day. However, PSU banks saw decent buying during the afternoon session. Shares of Indian Bank jumped nearly 7 per cent, while Punjab National BankBSE 3.05 % went home with a gain of 3 per cent.

Bank of India was the only stock in the Nifty PSU Bank index that landed in the red. On the contrary, RBL Bank was the only component in the Nifty Private Bank index that closed higher.

Vedanta, Hindustan Unilever, Indiabulls Housing Finance and Sun Pharmaceutical IndustriesBSE -1.75 % too stood among the top losers of the day .

IT stocks bucked the trend, closing the day in the green territory. Infosys, Mindtree, Infibeam Incorporation, Tata Elxsi and KPIT Technologies gained over 1 per cent. Tech Mahindra and Wipro too cloaked marginal gains, but HCL Technologies and Tata Consultancy ServicesBSE -0.16 % remained in the red.

Apart from Nifty PSU Bank and IT indices, all other sectoral indices closed the day in the red on NSE.

As many as 47 stocks including Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Dhanlaxmi Bank Limited, Gitanjali Gems, Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and United Bank of India hit fresh 52-week lows on NSE on Wednesday.

However, Ashok Leyland, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company, Venky’s (India) and Zenith Birla (India) stood among the 18 stocks that hit fresh 52-week highs on NSE.

European shares opened lower on Wednesday as a fresh batch of corporate results failed to change the negative trend set on Wall Street overnight on fears that U.S. rates could rise faster than expected, Reuters reported.

Asian peers Hang Seng and Nikkei 225 declined over 1 per cent on Wednesday.

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