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Sensex ends 348 points lower as Iraq tensions fuel an oil rally


Sensex ends 348 points lower as Iraq tensions fuel an oil rally
The Sensex and the Nifty slumped in trade as escalating tensions across Iraq saw an oil price rally. The Sensex ended the day lower by 348 points, while the Nifty closed lower by 107 points as investors worried that tensions may spread to other parts of the Middle East region leading to further gains for oil.

Reuters reported that Brent crude climbed to a nine-month high near $115 a barrel on Friday, as supply disruption fears took centre stage after the United States threatened military action in Iraq against Sunni Islamist militants who are pushing on towards Baghdad.


Oil marketing company stocks came in for severe selling pressure with BPCL, HPCL and Oil India seeing cuts of between 4-5 per cent.

DLF was the worst performer from the Nifty dropping a huge 8 per cent. Metal stocks also took a pounding with Tata Steel, Jindal Steel and Hindalco among the top losers in trade.

A select few stocks that gained from the Nifty were software stocks with HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra and Infosys being among the winners.

Mid cap stocks were the worst affected in trade with Canara Bank, Biocon, Power Finance, Unitech and Steel Authority of India seeing cuts between 4-8 per cent.

Meanwhile, markets in Europe were all trading lower as Brent Crude rose over $115 per barrel following worries over Iraq. The German DAX, French CAC and the UK's FTSE were all lower.

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