Benchmark indices have extended losses as traders remain unimpressed by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu's plans of reviving Indian Railways after he kept the heavily subsidised fares unchanged and raised freight rates for transportation of coal, cement and iron and steel
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At 01:40PM, the 30-share Sensex was down 256 points at 28,752 and the 50-share Nifty was down 73 points at 8,694.
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In the broader market, both the BSE Midcap index and Smallcap indices, down 0.3% and 0.2% each have performed worse than the front-liners. Market breadth in BSE ended negative with 1,452 declines against 1,031 advances.
Presenting Railways Budget in the Parliament today, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged lack of adequate investments in railways leading to hiccups in capacity augmentation. He emphasised the need of collaborating with foreign partners to gain access to cutting-edge technology and finance necessary to revitalize the Indian Railways. The Minister also talked about the potential of public-private partnership to improve financial efficiency and performance of Indian railways.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 516.06 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 19.70 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
All the 12 sectoral indices of BSE are in red. BSE Healthcare index, down 0.8% is the top loser followed by BSE FMCG and Consumer Durables indices losing around 0.7% each.
HDFC has gained nearly 2% and ICICI Bank is up 0.3%. However, on the losing side SBI, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank have lost between 0.4% and 0.6% each.
Among index heavyweights, Infosys and ITC have shed over 1% while among pharma stocks Sun Pharma is down 2% and Dr Reddys Lab and Cipla have lost around 0.3% each.