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Markets continue to trade marginally lower

Financials, metals among top Sensex losers

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Benchmark share indices continued to trade with marginal losses in late morning deals, amid weak global cues, weighed down by profit booking in metals and select financial shares.

At 11:34AM the 30-share Sensex was down 51 points at 19,714 and the 50-share Nifty was down 18 points at 5,992.

In Asia, Hang Seng, Kospi and Taiwan Weighted were down over 0.6% each while Straits Times was trading flat with negative bias.  However, the Shanghai Composite was marginally up after recent losses while Japan's Nikkei was up nearly 3% after opened for trading after the Christmas holidays.

The rupee was down 33 paise to 54.83 against the dollar in early trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market due to increased demand for the US currency from importers amid firm global cues.

Among the sectoral indices on the BSE, Metal Index was the top loser down 1.3% followed by rate sensitives such as Realty, Auto and Bankex. FMCG and Capital Goods indices were also marginally down.

In the financials space, HDFC Group shares were among the top losers on account of profit taking after recent gains. HDFC was down 1.5% while HDFC Bank slipped 0.9% and ICICI Bank was down 0.3%.

Metal shares continued to remain weak from early trades today tracking losses on the London Metal Exchange, after LMEX ended down 1.2% at 3,539.60 on Thursday. Tata Steel, Jindal Steel, Sterlite and Hindalco were down 1.5%-2% each.

Other Sensex losers include, ITC, Tata Motors and L&T.

However, shares of oil and software majors extended gains today. Software shares were up on the back of weak rupee. A weaker rupee boosts revenues of software exporters with major portion of their revenues coming from exports to the US. Infosy, Wipro and TCS were up 0.3-1.6% each.

In the oil and gas space, ONGC was up 2.1% and Reliance Industries was trading with marginal gains.

The broader markets outperformed the benchmark indices. The Mid-cap and Small-cap indices were up 0.2% each.

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