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Mid Session Commentary
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Sensex, Nifty slump to fresh intraday low
(14:34, 06 Dec 2018)

Frenzied selling in index pivotals pulled the key benchmark indices to fresh intraday low in mid-afternoon trade. At 14:27 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 507.04 points or 1.41% at 35,377.37. The Nifty 50 index was down 162.95 points or 1.51% at 10,619.95. Telecom stocks declined. Weakness in global stocks weighed adversely on the domestic bourses.

Investors are closely watching the meeting by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC and other top oil producing countries are set to meet later on Thursday in Austria, with a series of issues on the line. Chief among those is the discussion surrounding crude output policy.

Investors also turned cautious in the run-up to the announcement of five state elections' results next week. The outcomes of the five state elections will likely set the tone for the general elections next year. Voting in Rajasthan and Telangana will take place on 7 December 2018 and the counting of votes in all the states will be done on 11 December 2018. Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram were held on 28 November 2018. The election in Chhattisgarh Assembly was held in two phases 12 and 20 November 2018.

Trading for the day began on a subdued note as the key benchmark indices saw a gap-down opening on negative Asian stocks. Stocks extended initial losses in morning trade. Weakness persisted on the bourses in mid-morning trade as key indices hit intraday low due to selling pressure in index pivotals. Indices hovered near day's low in afternoon trade.

Provisional data released by the stock exchanges showing that local and foreign funds, both, were net sellers of Indian stocks yesterday, 5 December 2018, also weighed on the sentiment. The trading activity on that day showed that the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 357.82 crore. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 791.59 crore.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was down 1.43%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was down 1.41%.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 626 shares rose and 1789 shares fell. A total of 141 shares were unchanged.

Maruti Suzuki India (down 4.2%), Tata Motors (down 3.16%), Yes Bank (down 2.68%) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 2.62%) were the major Sensex losers.

Telecom stocks declined. Bharti Airtel (down 3.07%), Vodafone Idea (down 1.6%), MTNL (down 3.09%), Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (down 0.51%) and Reliance Communications (down 3.37%) declined.

Kirloskar Ferrous Industries was down 3.48%. The company said it has been selected as a preferred bidder in electronic auction for iron ore mine in Karnataka. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 6 December 2018.

On the political front, state assembly elections are being be closely watched. Polling in Rajasthan and Telangana will take place on 7 December 2018. Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram were held on 28 November 2018. The election to the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly was held in two phases 12 and 20 November 2018. Counting of votes will be held across all the five states on 11 December 2018.

Overseas, trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could slump 315 points at the opening bell today. Asian and European stocks dropped after Canada arrested a top executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies at the request of the US, a move that is seen as exacerbating tensions between the US and China.

Meanwhile, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said economic risks from abroad could be severe. The US Federal Reserve's Beige Book report showed there were concerns about higher tariffs from a widening trade war, rising interest rates and tight labor markets. Trump's get-tough approach to trade was causing rising costs for manufacturers and weaker sales at companies, it said.

The US New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were both closed on Wednesday to mark the day of mourning for the late former President George H.W. Bush, who died on November 30 at age 94.

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