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Sensex falls below 39,000

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Domestic stocks drifted lower in early trade on selling pressure in index pivotals. At 9:27 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 149.76 points or 0.38% at 38,962.98. The Nifty 50 index was down 41.70 points or 0.36% at 11,649.75. The Sensex declined below the psychological 39,000 mark in early trade.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.39%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was down 0.78%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 315 shares rose and 881 shares fell. A total of 33 shares were unchanged.

Overseas, Asian stocks were trading higher Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. Meanwhile, on the U.S.-China trade front, hopes in Beijing appear to have risen for a trade deal between the two economic powerhouses. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Xi Jinping are reportedly set to meet at the upcoming G-20 summit in Japan, which will happen next week.

U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged as widely expected but dropped the reference to patient in its statement to indicate it is ready to make ease monetary policy if needed.

The Fed said it will closely monitor the economy given increasing uncertainty about government policy though it signaled it may not need to lower rates before 2020. The central bank remained mostly optimistic about the economic outlook, but said inflationary pressures have receded, compelling it to lower its forecast for PCE inflation in 2019 to 1.5% from 1.8%, below its 2% target. At the same time, it left its gross domestic product estimate at 2.1%.

Back home, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) rose 0.14%. HDFC said it has entered into agreements for acquiring up to 51.2% of the equity share capital of Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company for a total consideration of Rs 1346.84 crore. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 19 June 2019.

Apollo Hospitals Enterprise rose 1.41% after the company said that the board of directors of the company approved the sale of the entire 9.96% equity stake held by the company in Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company, an unlisted public limited company for a total consideration of around Rs 300 crore. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 19 June 2019.

Ashok Leyland fell 1.63% after the company said that as part of the company's strategy to align with the production and sales requirements, the company's plant situated at Pantnagar will remain closed from 24 June 2019 to 29 June 2019 (both days inclusive). The company does not expect any material impact on the same. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 19 June 2019.

Punjab National Bank (PNB) slipped 0.07%. PNB said that the bank's board has granted permission for raising capital through issuance of Basel III compliant Tier II bonds amounting up to Rs 1500 crore in one or more tranches. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 19 June 2019.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 20 2019. 09:32 IST