Sensex pares some early losses; IT stocks edge higher on weak rupee

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 20, 2014 04:38 hrs

After a weak start on the back of a negative trend in global markets following the U.S. Federal Reserve hinting at raising rates from year 2015, the Indian stock market regained some lost ground with select blue chips, particularly from the IT space, finding some strong support.

The BSE benchmark Sensex is down 45.66 points or 0.21% at 21,787.20, after declining to 21,746.42 in early trade. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is down 19.50 points or 0.3% at 6504.45.

In the forex market, the rupee opened at 61.38 against the U.S. dollar, down 43 paise from Wednesday's close of 60.95, on the back of the Federal Reserve's indication about a likely hike in Federal Funds rate.

Bank, capital goods, realty and power stocks are trading weak. FMCG, oil, metal and automobile stocks are mixed, while some healthcare stocks have posted strong gains.

Capital goods sector heavyweights BHEL and Larsen & Toubro are down 2% and 1%, respectively. Among the bank stocks in the Sensex, Axis Bank is down 1.7%, State Bank of India and HDFC Bank are lower by about 0.7% and ICICI Bank is down marginally.

Coal India, GAIL India, ITC, HDFC, ONGC, Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki and Hero Motocorp are down 0.3%- 1.3%. Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors are down marginally.

Shares of state run oil marketing firms are down sharply. BPCL is down 2.7%. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation is down 2% and Indian Oil Corporation is down by about 1.2%

Ambuja Cements, DLF, Punjab National Bank, Kotak Bank, Bank of Baroda and Power Grid Corporation are down 1% - 1.8%. IndusInd Bank, ACC, Ultra Tech Cement, Grasim Industries and Jindal Steel & Power are also trading weak.

Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys are up 1% - 1.6%. Pharma stocks Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Lupin and Dr Reddy's Laboratories are also trading notably higher.

Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel, NMDC, , SAIL, NMDC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Cairn India and NTPC are up as well.

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