Key Indian equity indices drift lower after flat opening

Mumbai, March 16 (IANS) After losing over 1 percent in the previous session, two top Indian equity indices opened flat on Wednesday but drifted lower, ahead of another crucial meeting of the US Federal Reserve later in the evening.

The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which closed on Tuesday at 24,551.17 points, opened the next day at 24,537.61 points. After over an hour into trading, it was ruling at 24,436.44 points with a loss of 114.73 points or 0.47 percent.

At the National Stock Exchange, the 50-share Nifty which had closed the day before at 7,460.60 points, opened at 7,457.05 points. It was subsequently quoting at 7,432.65 points, down 27.95 points or 0.37 percent.

As many as 24 of the 30 Sensex stocks were in the red, and only six managed to advance. On the NSE, the number of Nifty stocks in the decline were at 38, and those in the green were 11, while one remained unchanged.

The top Sensex gainers were ITC, Bharat Heavy Electricals and Bajaj Auto, while Sun Pharma, Tata Motors and Asian Paints led the losers. Among the 19 sector-specific indices, the top loser was that for consumer durables, while the fast-moving consumer goods index was the top gainer.

“The US stocks closed mostly lower on Tuesday, weighed by fall in the oil prices and a string of lackluster economic data released, ahead of the US Fed’s important decision on interest rates,” Angel Broking said in an analysis, ahead of the opening bell for Indian markets.

“Key European indices also closed down between 0.5 to 1 percent as investors played it safe ahead of the Fed meeting,” said the brokerage, adding the markets were anticipating the British budget, to be presented on Wednesday to raise taxes.

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