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Sensex falls 337 points, Nifty holds 14,900; ONGC, Sun Pharma, PowerGrid top losers

Sensex ended 337.78 points lower at 49,564 and Nifty declined 124 points to 14,906

Top Sensex loser was ONGC falling around 3 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma, PowerGrid, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel and Kotak Bank. Top Sensex loser was ONGC falling around 3 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma, PowerGrid, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel and Kotak Bank.

Benchmark indices closed lower on Thursday led by losses in index majors HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank amid weak global cues.

Sensex ended 337.78 points lower at 49,564 and Nifty declined 124 points to 14,906. Top Sensex loser was ONGC falling around 3 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma, PowerGrid, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel and Kotak Bank.

M&M, IndusInd Bank, Titan, L&T and Bajaj Finserv were among the top gainers rising up to 2.36%.

Of 30 Sensex stocks, 21 ended in the red. BSE midcap and small cap indices slipped 33 points and rose 51 points, respectively.

Metal and banking stocks led the losses with BSE metal index losing  698 points and 383 points respectively. Market cap on BSE fell to Rs 215.63 lakh crore. However , market breadth was positive with 1,610 stocks rising against 1,496 falling on BSE.

Shrikant Chouhan, Executive Vice President, Equity Technical Research at Kotak Securities said, "Although market fell, the decline was not severe. The market breadth remained at 1:1 which is an indicator of mixed sentiment in the market. The support exists at 14860 and at 14800 levels. On the higher side, 14970 and 15070 would be major hurdles. The strategy should be to buy on dips. Be a buyer in large-cap metal stocks with a medium-term view as most of them are available at significant support levels."

Meanwhile, rupee strengthened by 6 paise to end at 73.12 against the US dollar on Thursday, tracking the weakness in the American currency in the overseas market.

At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 73.16 against the greenback and witnessed an intra-day high of 73.09 and a low of 73.17. On Wednesday, the rupee had settled at 73.18 against the US dollar.

Global markets

Stocks rose in Paris, London, Tokyo and Sydney but fell in Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai. US futures were lower. Germany's DAX gained 0.6% to 15,200.43 and the CAC 40 in Paris also rose 0.6%, to 6,302.81.

Britain's FTSE added 0.4% to 6,975.45. The futures for the S&P 500 and for the Dow industrials both slipped 0.1%. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 regained lost ground, edging 0.2% higher to 28,098.25, while Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 surged 1.3% to 7,019.60. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng slipped 0.6% to 28,423.80 while Seoul's Kospi declined 0.3% to 3,162.28. Shares rose in Singapore and Jakarta but fell in Taiwan.