Expected rise in PNB fraud depresses equity indices (Roundup)

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Mumbai, Feb 27 (IANS) An expected rise in the estimated quantum of fraud at Punjab National Bank pulled the key indices of the Indian equity market lower on Tuesday.

According to market observers, the key indices had made gains on the back of positive global cues. However, further disclosure from PNB subdued investors’ sentiments.

Subsequently, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in banking, metals and healthcare stocks.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE traded at 34,346.39 points — down 99.36 points, or 0.29 per cent, from its previous close of 34,445.75 points.

Similarly, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged lower during the trade session. It dipped by 28.30 points, or 0.27 per cent, to close at 10,554.30 points.

In the intra-day, the S&P BSE Sensex touched a high of 34,610.79 points and a low of 34,314.87 points.

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“Benchmark index opened higher, following global cues but gave up all gains after PNB revealed that the amount of fraudulent transactions could be Rs 1,300 crore more than the current estimate of about Rs 11,400 crore,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS that markets took a breather on Tuesday after two sessions of gains.

“The weakness came on the back of weak Asian equity markets and disclosure of more amounts of fraud by PNB,” Jasani told IANS.

“Sectorally, top gainers were FMCG and IT indices. Top losers were PSU banks, realty, bank Nifty and media indices.”

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by eight paise to close at 64.87-88 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.79-80.

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In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 906.86 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 1,046.67 crore.

Sector-wise, S&P BSE banking index receded by 414.17 points, metals index by 122.47 points and healthcare index by 77.81 points.

However, consumer durables index rose by 46.27 points and IT index by 32.01 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: Bharti Airtel, up 2.07 per cent at Rs 431.05; Dr Reddy’s Labs, up 1.82 per cent at Rs 2,234.15; NTPC, up 1.53 per cent at Rs 165.50; Hero MotoCorp, up 1.34 per cent at Rs 3,587.95; and Reliance Industries, up 1.21 per cent at Rs 949.95.

The Sensex losers were: Axis Bank, down 2.68 per cent at Rs 537.50; State Bank of India, down 2.53 per cent at Rs 267.80; ICICI Bank, down 2.25 per cent at Rs 319.65; Sun Pharma, down 2.02 per cent at Rs 544.90; and ONGC, down 1.23 per cent at Rs 188.40.

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On Monday — the previous trade session — both the key indices closed at a new three weeks high levels as positive global cues and forecast of a healthy GDP growth, lifted investors’ sentiments.

The Nifty50 had edged higher by 41.90 points, or 0.40 per cent, to close at 10,532.95 points, while the Sensex closed at 34,269.24 points — up 127.09 points, or 0.37 per cent.



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