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Sensex falls for 7th day in a row; global markets rally

Sensex falls for 7th day in a row; global markets rally
Indian benchmark indices ended the day lower for a seventh successive day as selling pressure in the last one hour of trade pushed indices lower, despite robust global markets.

The Sensex ended the day lower by 55 points (provisional), while the Nifty lost 17 points in trade. Decline in index heavyweight ITC, dragged indices lower. Shares in the company 1 per cent on worries that increase in excise on cigarettes across the different states could put pressure on margins.

Other stocks that added pressure on the indices were IDFC, Maruti Suzuki, Hero Motor Corp, Asian Paints and Tata Steel.

The S&P Bankex which was up in early trade lost heavy ground with blue chip banking names like Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda, Kotak Mahindra, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank being dumped by investors.

Among the Nifty gainers were DLF, ONGC, NTPC, BPCL , Cairn India and Power Grid Corporation. Metal stocks saw selling pressure with JSW Steel, Hindalco Industries, Monnet Ispat and Tata Steel leading the fall.

Among non index stocks GMR Infra saw a sudden spurt with the stock surging almost 10 per cent in trade. Cairn India also saw buying interest after the company said it has commenced oil production from the Aishwariya field in the Rajasthan Block bordering Pakistan and also begun commercial sale of gas from there.

Mid cap stocks ended the day flat with notable losers in trade including CESC, Sintex Industries, JSW Steel, Reliance Communications and Unitech. The mid cap stocks that gained in trade were Punj Loyd, Opto Circuits and Sun TV Network.

Meanwhile, markets across the globe rallied after Cyprus clinched a bailout deal from international lenders. Indian markets are expected to continue to weaken as analysts say the market has broken key support levels. Also, the week is a truncated one with Wednesday and Friday being a holiday on account of Holi and Good Friday.

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