Sensex ends lower ahead of RBI policy call

Mumbai, Dec 5 (PTI) Markets turned weak in a choppy trade today as cautious investors kept their powder dry ahead of RBI's policy announcement amid subdued macro cues. The Reserve Bank's two-day monetary policy review kicked off today. The central bank is widely expected to keep policy rates unchanged tomorrow and will stay focused on controlling inflation, experts said. The 30-share Sensex opened on a negative note on across- the-board losses and touched a low of 32,682.52. However, value-buying in several heavyweights towards the fag-end trimmed the losses, with the index finishing at 32,802.44, down 67.28 points or 0.20 per cent. The broader NSE Nifty too slipped by 9.50 points, or 0.09 per cent, to end at 10,118.25, after moving between 10,069.10 and 10,147.95. Trading mood was also impacted as Fitch Ratings yesterday cut the country's GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 6.7 per cent from the earlier projected 6.9 per cent. Services sector activity slipped into the contraction territory during November, post the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) that led to sluggish demand and lower customer turnout, a monthly survey said. "The recent correction in PSU banks provides an opportunity for investors to accumulate as the long term prospects remains strong owing to healthy recapitalisation. "On the macro front upcoming RBI policy and Gujarat state election will be an influential factor for investors which is steering the market to consolidate," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors offloaded shares worth net Rs 333.59 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares to the tune of Rs 776.18 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. Hero MotoCorp was the worst performer in the Sensex pack, falling 2.31 per cent, followed by Wipro at 2.29 per cent. Other losers included Tata Steel, NTPC, Dr Reddy's, ONGC, Power Grid, Bajaj Auto, LandT, MandM, Asian Paints, HDFC Bank, HUL, Lupin, Coal India, ITC, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Maruti Suzuki and Infosys, falling by up to 1.71 per cent. Bucking the trend, SBI topped the gainers list by rising 1.92 per cent, while Bharti Airtel gained 1.18 per cent. Among the BSE sectoral indices, power fell 1.06 per cent, followed by metal 0.85 per cent, capital goods 0.62 per cent, consumer durables 0.61 per cent, infra 0.56 per cent, auto 0.52 per cent and IT 0.38 per cent. The broader market depicted a mixed trend, with the BSE mid-cap ending up 0.41 per cent, while small-cap index finished 0.03 per cent down. Asian markets retreated, with Japan's Nikkei falling 0.37 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declining 1.01 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index finishing 0.18 per cent lower. European markets too saw a weak trend. Paris CAC fell 0.29 per cent and Frankfurt's DAX shed 0.13 per cent. London's FTSE rose 0.16 per cent in late morning deals.
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