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Sensex falls over 150 points ahead of key macro data release

Mumbai | The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday dropped over 150 points tracking weakness in other Asian markets amid heavy selling by foreign investors.

Market sentiment also turned cautious ahead of the release of key macroeconomic data. The 30-share index fell 174.61 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 35,835.23 in early trade.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty shed 60.10 points,or 0.57 percent, to 10,733.85. On Friday, the Sensex had fallen 377.81 96 points to end at 36,009.84; and the Nifty too slipped by 26.65 points to close at 10,794.95.

According to analysts, this week, stock market movement will be driven by announcement of macroeconomic data points and quarterly earnings by various companies, including bluechips RIL and Wipro. The government is scheduled to release wholesale price index (WPI) and consumer price index (CPI) data later in the day. Market would also continue taking cues from the movement of rupee, crude oil and investment trend by foreign investors, traders said.

On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 687.20 crore Friday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 123.17 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed. In morning session on Monday, the biggest losers in the Sensex pack were Axis Bank, L&T, Tata Steel, Vedanta, HDFC, M&M, IndusInd Bank, Bharti Airtel, TCS, ICICI Bank, NTPC and SBI, falling up to 1.61 percent.

Shares of Avenue Supermarts, which runs the D-Mart chain, fell over 8 percent after the company posted 2.1 percent rise in its net profit to Rs 257 crore for the December 2018 quarter.

On the other hand, Infosys was the biggest gainer, rising 3 percent, after the company on Friday said it will buyback shares worth up to Rs 8,260 crore and offer shareholders a special dividend of Rs 4 per share as part of the company’s Rs 13,000 crore-capital allocation policy.

India’s second largest IT firm, however, reported a 30 percent drop in its December quarter net profit on higher expenses. Other gainers include Yes Bank, Sun Pharma and HUL, rising up to 2.61 percent.

Globally, elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.43 percent, Kospi fell 0.66 percent and Shanghai Composite Index was trading 0.56 per cent lower in early trade. Japan’s Nikkei, however, gained 0.97 percent.

On Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended marginally lower at 23,995.95 points on Friday. The rupee, meanwhile, depreciated against the US dollar to 70.56. The benchmark Brent crude futures dropped 0.94 percent to USD 59.91 per barrel.

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