Sensex down by 54.06 points

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Mumbai, Sept 11: In a trend reversal from initial firmness, the Sensex today shed 54.06 points on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) to settle in the red at 15,542.77 on talks of a mid-term poll as the Left allies of the UPA government continued to voice their opposition to the Indo-US nuke deal.

''The sentiment turned nervous ahead of a key meeting of the government with left parties on the nuclear deal. The market had opened on an upbeat note at 15,668.40 from its previous close of 15, 596.83 and had even managed to come close of the 15,700 mark in an intra-day high of 15,698.98, tracking steady global markets.

But, bouts of volatility was witnessed in the second half of the day's trading, which ultimately led to its downfall,'' market participants rued.

Similarly, the broader National Stock Exchange (NSE) S&P CNX Nifty also tanked 10.80 points to settle lower at 4,497.05 from its previous close of 4,507.85, after actually opening higher at 4,509.65 and moving between 4,538.60 and 4,487.15 during the day's session.

BSE data shows that the market breadth was positive with 1,410 shares advancing as compared to 1,356 that declined, while 65 remained unchanged. The breadth was much stronger in morning trade when 1,231 shares had risen, 241 had declined and 30 were unchanged.

The total turnover amounted to Rs 4,935 crore. From 30-scrip Sensex pack, 20 declined while 10 gained.

''Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) have started selling.

Information technology (IT) pivotals were the worst hit on concerns of US economy heading towards recession. India's third largest software services exporter Wipro was the top loser from the Sensex pack,'' market players lamented.

Other prominent laggards included Satyam Computers, Infosys Technologies, TCS, Tata Motors Maruti Udyog, Reliance Industries (RIL) and Mahindra&Mahindra, while NTPC, HDFC and Tata Steel edged higher.

Other information technology (IT) pivotals like Satyam Computers, Infosys Technologies, and TCS also declined, since IT companies derive over 50 per cent of their revenue from exports to US markets. The Indian rupee was trading slightly firm at 40.60 against the US dollar. It had settled at 40.65/66 yesterday.

Auto stocks declined on profit booking. Tata Motors, Maruti Udyog and Mahindra&Mahindra dipped.

NTPC, the nation's top power generation company in terms of revenue, advanced 2.30 per cent to Rs 195.50 on 17.20 lakh shares.

It was the top gainer from the Sensex pack. As per reports, the power ministry has sought waiver of new external commercial borrowings (ECB) norms for the power sector to allow it to use funds raised abroad for rupee expenditure.

World's sixth largest steel producer in terms of total steel production Tata Steel gained 2.16 per cent to Rs 708 on reports that it is looking at building a 5-million tonne steel plant in South Africa.

India's largest private sector entity by market capitalisation and oil refiner Reliance Industries (RIL) slipped from an all-time high of Rs 2,007 struck in early trade. It declined 0.34 per cent to Rs 1980.40 on 6 lakh shares. RIL has warned that fresh bidding for the price of natural gas produced from the Krishna Godavari's-D6 fields could lead to market distortion and cartelisation. It claims that the bidding process followed by them (that discovered the gas price of USD 4.33 per million British thermal unit) was a transparent and legally-complete process in line with the provisions of the production sharing contract with the government.

European markets were trading firm. Key benchmark indices in London (up 1.37 per cent to 6,217.90), Germany (up 1.15 per cent to 7,460.52) and France (up 1.31per cent to 5,457.03) edged higher.

Asian markets were trading mixed today. Japan's Nikkei rose 0.71 per cent at 15,877.67, Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted advanced 0.73 per cent at 9,003.12 and Singapore's Straits Times gained 1.53 per cent points at 3, 494.57. However, the Shanghai Composite crashed 4.51 per cent to 5,113.96 and Hang Seng tanked 0.20 per cent at 23,9522.24.

US shares finished a volatile session with small gains yesterday, as investors grappled with the possibility that the Federal Reserve might not lower interest rates as much as they hope. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 14.47 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 13,127.85. Broader stock indexes fell. The Standard&Poor's 500 index slipped 1.85 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 1,451.70, and the Nasdaq Composite index declined 6.59 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 2,559.11.

Crude oil prices surged to near a record high today after attacks on oil and natural gas pipelines rocked the world's fifth largest crude producer Mexico, ahead of an OPEC meeting to determine production policy. US light crude rose 40 cents to USD 77.89 a barrel and is now near its record high of USD 78.77 hit on Aug 1.

London Brent crude rose 36 cents to USD 75.84.


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