Markets end lower; L&T leads declines

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 Markets end lower; L&T leads declines
Markets ended the day sharply lower after trading rangebound for most of the day. Buying in oil and gas exploration companies and oil marketing companies helped prevent a further loss in the Sensex which ended the day lower by 92 points. The Nifty dropped 27 points.

Among the Nifty stocks that dragged the index lower today were construction and infra major Larsen and Toubro, while other stocks that lost ground were blue chip FMCG, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC and HDFC Bank.

Auto stocks apart from Tata Motors, recorded good gains with Maruti Suzuki surging on better prospects for its petrol cars, after hopes that the government would announce a hike in diesel prices.

Other auto stocks that gained were Mahindra and Mahindra, HeroMotorCorp and two wheeler major TVS Motors.

Shares of Hindustan Motors rallied more than 20 per cent after the company said it would meet on January 10 to consider restructuring.

Indraprastha Gas was up after the company said it would raise CNG price by 4% from midnight.
Banking stocks took a breather today with the Bankex index dropping led by decline in stocks like HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank, Federal Bank and State Bank of India.

Metal stocks, however, continued to rally with the winners from the basket being names like Steel Authority, Sesa Goa, Hindalco, Tata Steel,Sterlite Industries and JSW Steel.

Meanwhile, markets in Europe were trading in the red, while Asian markets ended the day mixed. The UK's FTSE, the German DAX and the French CAC were all trading in the red.

Read more about: sensex, nifty
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