Volatility ruled the roost in mid-afternoon trade as the key benchmark indices once again extended losses soon after a brief intraday recovery from lower levels. At 14:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 208.15 points or 0.78% at 26,351.77. The Nifty 50 index was currently off 71.35 points or 0.87% at 8,121.55. Weakness in global stocks weighed adversely on the domestic bourses.
Overseas, Asian and European stocks declined on global uncertainties as investors adopted a wait-and-see mood. Later today, 2 December 2016, the US Labor Department will release its closely watched monthly employment report for November. Investors are awaiting US payrolls report for confirmation the US economy continues to strengthen, with an eye on an expected hike in benchmark US interest rates by the Federal Reserve at its meeting on 13-14 December.
Investors are also concerned about Italy's constitutional referendum on Sunday, 4 December 2016 which could determine whether or not the country will remain in the euro zone. A sharp decline in technology stocks pulled both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 indexes into the red yesterday, 1 December 2016 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to notch a record closing high with a lift from bank and energy shares.
Closer home, the breadth indicating the overall health of the market was weak. On BSE, 1,631 shares declined and 864 shares rose. A total of 117 shares were unchanged. The BSE Mid-Cap index was currently off 0.79%. The BSE Small-Cap index was currently off 0.76%. The fall in both these indices was lower than the Sensex's decline in percentage terms.
Asian Paints (down 3.1%), HDFC (down 2.04%) and L&T (down 1.7%) edged lower from the Sensex pack
Cement stocks fell. Ambuja Cements (down 1.04%), ACC (down 0.85%), India Cements (down 3.83%), JK Lakshmi Cement (down 2.05%) and The Ramco Cements (down 2.67%) declined. UltraTech Cement (up 0.46%) and Shree Cement (up 0.8%) rose.
Grasim Industries was off 0.41%. Grasim has exposure to the cement sector through its holding in UltraTech Cement.
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