Sensex slips into red after gaining 162 pts

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Mumbai, Mar 18: The benchmark sensitive index of Bombay Stock Exchange slipped into red after a gain of nearly 162 points on the the alternate bouts of buying and selling amid early volatile trade. After opening with a maginal negative gap at 14,725.69 from its previous close at 14,809.49, the Sensex moved in positive zone to touch a high at 14,971.37 and then dived into red in the mid-morning trade. Moreover, the market witnessed a bout of volatility in early trade, broker said.

Banking stocks extended the fall, whereas, power stocks recovered slightly. Reliance Industries edged higher. Jaiprakash Associates and HDFC extended yesterday's losses. Asian markets were mixed today and Indian market breadth remained negative. The broader based S&P CNX Nifty index of National Stock Exchange was almost flat.

From the Sensex pack, DLF was up 3.28 per cent to Rs 622.55, Maruti Suzuki India was up 1.96 per cent to Rs 822.35 and Reliance Communications gained 1.77 per cent to Rs 491.30 were major gainers in the early trade.

However, HDFC was down 2.05 per cent to Rs 2,179.90, HDFC Bank was down 2.69 per cent to Rs 1,205.20, Jaiprakash Associates down 6.18 per cent to Rs 195.20, ICICI Bank down 2.88 per cent to Rs 735.55 and Mahindra&Mahindra was about one per cent down at Rs 631.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve is widely expected to slash its benchmark interest rate by minimum 100 basis points, currently at three per cent at its policy meeting later in the day.

In the previous session, Sensex tanked 951.03 points or 6.03 per cent at 14,809.49, marked the second biggest ever single-day fall. The market would remain close on 20 and 21 March on account of Id-E-Milad and Good Friday respectively.

As per provisional data, FIIs sold shares worth a net Rs 658.22 crore on March 17. Local funds bought shares worth a net Rs 211.48 crore on that day.


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