Sensex opens in red amid choppy trade

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Sensex
Mumbai, Mar 5: The benchmark Sensex opened in red and then rebounded to hover in green near 16,350 level amid early choppy trading session.

Sensex opened the day with a negative gap of 10.98 points at 16,328.91 and soon shed over 86 points to touch an intraday low at 16,253.02 from its previous close of 16,339.89 on profit booking interest in blue chips. Later, it recovered on some buying interest and was almost flat in the mid-morning trade, brokers said.ICICI Bank was the biggest loser from the Sensex pack. IT stocks bucked the bearish trend as the Indian rupee eased against the dollar.

Twenty out of 30 stocks from the Sensex pack were in the green. The market breadth was weak. Asian markets were mixed in the early trade. The market will be closed tomorrow on account of Mahashivratri. Trading on the bourses will halt today from 1145 hrs to 1230 hrs due to sun outage. The trading time has been extended till 1615 hrs.

The changes in timings will be applicable till March 18. The broader based CNX S&P Nifty index of National Stock Exchange was also flat near 4850 level. The BSE Mid-Cap and Small-Cap were also in a flat zone.The market breadth was weak on BSE, 743 advanced as compared to 1185 that declined and 54 stocks remained unchanged.

Frontliners, ICICI Bank fell 2.94 per cent to Rs 943. The stock tumbled yesterday after report that the bank lost USD 264 million on account of the subprime crisis.

However, ICICI Bank Joint Managing Director Chanda Kochhar clarified that ICICI Bank may have to provide for another USD 50 million of investment losses in this quarter on top of USD 70 million already provided for in Q3 December 2007. The write off will be due to its investments being marked to market rather than provisioning for a subprime loss as many large international banks have done.

As per provisional data, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 512.33 crore yesterday. Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) were net buyers of shares worth Rs 170.23 crore on that day.

FIIs were net buyers of Rs 910.40 crore in the futures&options segment on that day. They were net buyers of index futures to the tune of Rs 121.85 crore and bought index options worth Rs 221.14 crore. They were net buyers of stock futures to the tune of Rs 560.66 crore and bought stock options worth Rs 6.75 crore.

UNI

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