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Sensex Falls Over 250 Points, Nifty Near 10,950

Domestic stock markets started Friday’s session on a lower note, amid losses in Asian peers. The S&P BSE Sensex index lost as much as 337.12 points to touch 36,974.41 on the downside in early trade, and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark declined to 10,924.30, down 105.1 points from the previous close. A selloff across sectors – led by banking, automobile and metal stocks – pulled the markets lower. Heavyweight Reliance Industries moved in the negative territory after four straight days of gains, falling as much as 1.18 per cent in first few minutes of trade.

At 9:35 am, the Sensex traded 333.33 points – or 0.89 per cent – lower at 36,978.20 while the Nifty was down 103.50 points – or 0.94 per cent – at 10,925.90.

Top percentage laggards on the 50-scrip index at the time were Indiabulls Housing Finance, Hindalco, Vedanta, JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Wipro, and Tata Motors, struggling with losses of between 1.86 per cent and 9.00 per cent. 

Market breadth was sharply negative with 444 stocks on the BSE trading higher and 907 lower. On the NSE, 457 stocks advanced while 1,086 declined.  

HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, TCS and Infosys were the top drags on the Sensex. 

The markets were set to end the three-day trading week on a lower note. The Indian financial markets remained shut on Monday and Thursday. 

Analysts say that with the earnings season and key macroeconomic data now behind, some volatility can be expected in the near term in the absence of domestic cues. 

Equities in other Asian markets fell and were headed for weekly losses as conflicting messages on the US-China trade war only added to worries for the global economy.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.17 per cent, to be down 1.4 per cent for the week. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.5 per cent, making a loss of 1.8 per cent on the week, while commodity-exposed Australia was heading for a weekly drubbing of 2.7 per cent.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he believed China wanted to make a trade deal and that the dispute would be fairly short. Beijing vowed to counter the latest tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods but called on the US to meet it halfway on a potential trade deal.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.24 per cent, but were still off 2.2 per cent on the week. Overnight, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 indexes rose 0.39 per cent and 0.25 per cent respectively, whereas and the Nasdaq finished 0.09 per cent lower.

The Sensex and Nifty had ended 0.96 per cent and 0.95 per cent higher on Wednesday, staging a sharp recovery after the worst day of August on somewhat easing US-China trade concerns.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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