Sensex cracks nearly 300 pts, Nifty slips below 10,300

Mumbai, Mar 16 (PTI) The BSE Sensex dropped nearly 300 points, led by a selloff in energy, metal, oil and gas, utilities and FMCG stocks amid subdued Asian trend. Weakness in Asian markets on continued worries of trade tensions due to fears over US tariffs weighed on market sentiment. Back home, Telugu Desam Party's (TDP) formal exit from the Narendra Modi government also spooked investors. The 30-share index was trading at 33,399.65 at 1200hrs, down 285.89 points, or 0.85 per cent. The broader NSE Nifty slipped below the key 10,300-level to 10,272.05, down 88.10 points, or 0.85 per cent. Major losers were Tata Motors, ONGC, Tata Motors DVR, NTPC and Reliance Industries, falling up to 2 per cent. Meanwhile, telecom and realty counters witnessed some buying interest. On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 705.40 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 256.45 crore yesterday, provisional data showed. Asian markets fell weak volumes on Wall Street gave little impetus for traders overnight, ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting. US stocks ended mixed yesterday, as industrial and tech gains were offset by losses in the consumer and energy sector.
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