Bearish Asian markets, weak rupee dent markets

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Mumbai, Jan 21 (IANS) Bearish Asian markets, coupled with a weak rupee and long-liquidation positions pushed down the Indian equity markets during the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday.

This led a barometer index of the Indian equity markets to decline by 32 points.

The selling pressure led to both the bellwether indices of the Indian equity markets to trade at levels which were last seen during May-June 2014.

Initially, both the bellwether indices opened on a positive note due to Wednesday’s late trading hour short-covering rally and slightly higher crude oil prices.

However, the bellwether indices soon ceded their gains in sync with their bearish Asian peers.

Furthermore, investors were seen to be cautious regarding the slide in the rupee value which weakened to 68-level against a US dollar during the intra-day trade.

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The weakness in the rupee value indicates the massive foreign funds outflow from the Indian equity and debt markets.

On Wednesday, the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers.

According to data with stock exchanges, FIIs divested Rs.1,324.69 crore on Wednesday.

Besides, caution prevailed over the upcoming US macro-data points of jobless claims and crude oil inventory figures.

This led the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) to marginally recede by 32 points or 0.13 percent.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading flat. It was slightly down by 5.30 points or 0.07 percent at 7,304 points.

The S&P BSE Sensex, which opened at 24,194.75 points, was trading at 24,029.67 points (1.45 p.m.) — down 32.37 points or 0.13 percent from the previous day’s close at 24,062.04 points.

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The Sensex has touched a high of 24,351.83 points and a low of 23,862 points, during the intra-day trade.

The S&P BSE market breadth favoured the bears — with 1,170 declines and only 1,280 advances.

“Our markets opened on a positive note on the back of yesterday’s short-covering rally and sharp close. Even the slightly higher crude oil prices helped sentiments at the fag end of a fortnight-long selling period,” Anand James, co-head, technical research desk with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

“However, bearish Asian markets, weak rupee and long-liquidated positions dampened sentiments.”

Nitasha Shankar, vice president for research with YES Securities, elaborated that broader markets are falling in line with the headline indices amidst sharp profit booking in high beta stocks.

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“Banking index is trading in the green at the moment, however, bank stocks are rapidly giving up their gains as profit booking resumes. Auto, pharma and energy indices are trading down with cuts in excess of one percent,” Shankar noted.

“Media and IT (information technology) indices are partially in the green.”

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