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Sensex slides over 240 pts, Nifty ends at 10,831.40

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Key equity benchmarks declined for the third straight trading session. Sentiment was cautious ahead of release of key domestic macro-economic data. Metal shares bucked weak market trend. Most IT shares declined.

The Sensex fell 241.41 points or 0.66% to settle at 36,153.62, its lowest closing level since 30 January 2019. The index rose 70.37 points, or 0.19% at the day's high of 36,465.40. The index fell 281.12 points, or 0.77% at the day's low of 36,113.91.

The Nifty 50 index fell 57.40 points or 0.53% to settle at 10,831.40, its lowest closing level since 31 January 2019. The index rose 22.10 points, or 0.20% at the day's high of 10,910.90. The index fell 65 points, or 0.60% at the day's low of 10,823.80.

Domestic stocks eked out small gains in early trade. Key indices reversed direction to sink in negative zone in morning trade. Key indices hovered in a small range in mid-morning and early afternoon trade. Key benchmarks trimmed losses after hitting fresh intraday low in afternoon trade. Key benchmarks hovered in a small range in negative zone in mid-afternoon trade.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index fell 0.06%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index fell 0.43%.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On the BSE, 1057 shares rose and 1476 shares fell. A total of 138 shares were unchanged.

Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Telecom index (down 1.69%), the S&P BSE Realty index (down 1.29%) and the S&P BSE IT index (down 0.94%), underperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Metal index (up 1.65%), the S&P BSE Healthcare index (up 0.3%) and the S&P BSE Energy index (up 0.29%), outperformed the Sensex.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries rose 2% to Rs 436.75 ahead of its Q3 results today, 12 February 2019.

Tata Motors declined 0.66%. The Tata Motors Group global wholesales in January 2019, including Jaguar Land Rover, were at 100,572 units, lower by 12%, as compared to January 2018. The announcement was made during market hours today, 12 February 2019.

L&T fell 0.10%. L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE), a wholly owned subsidiary of L&T, has won a mega order from Sonatrach-Algeria. The Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) contract is to set up three Central Processing (CPF) facilities in Algeria. The announcement was made during market hours today, 12 February 2019.

Most IT shares declined. MindTree (down 1.84%), Infosys (down 1.47%), HCL Technologies (down 1.4%), TCS (down 0.72%), Tech Mahindra (down 0.42%) and Persistent Systems (down 0.12%), edged lower. Oracle Financial Services Software (up 0.38%), Wipro (up 0.48%), Hexaware Technologies (up 1.62%) and MphasiS (up 2.41%), edged higher.

Metal shares advanced. Jindal Steel & Power (up 9.84%), Steel Authority of India (up 5.47%), Hindustan Copper (up 5.06%), JSW Steel (up 4.19%), Tata Steel (up 1.57%), NMDC (up 0.80%), Vedanta (up 0.53%) and Hindustan Zinc (up 0.40%), edged higher. National Aluminium Company fell 3.70%.

Hindalco Industries fell 0.38% after the company reported Q3 December 2018 results during trading hours today, 12 February 2019. The company's profit after tax rose 47.31% to Rs 713 crore on 8.09% increase in revenue from operations to Rs 11,938 crore in Q3 December 2018 over Q3 December 2017. Total EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) rose 3.49% to Rs 1,926 crore in Q3 December 2018 over Q3 December 2017.

The financials include relevant numbers of Utkal Alumina International (100% subsidiary of Hindalco), from its accounts, to present a comprehensive view of the business. For this purpose, standard principles of consolidation have been applied by elimination of inter-company transactions and unrealised profit or loss in the inventory. For comparison purposes, previous period numbers have also been presented in a similar manner.

The company said that Q3 numbers were backed by supporting macros, improvement in operational efficiencies and better realisations. This was despite increase in input costs, mainly of coal and furnace oil. Interest expense was lower by 12% at Rs 477 crore, mainly due to re-pricing of long term project loans and loan re-payments. The rise in profit after tax was driven by higher EBITDA and lower finance costs. Net Debt to EBITDA (on TTM Basis) at end December 2018 improved to 2.36x from 2.67x at end March 2018. Under its continuous deleveraging focus, the company has prepaid another Rs 1,575 crore in October 2018.

Data of Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January and Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for December 2018 is slated to be released after market hours today, 12 February 2019.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 70.765, compared with its close of 71.18 during the previous trading session.

In the global commodities markets, Brent for April 2019 settlement was up 46 cents at $61.97 a barrel. The contract fell 59 cents, or 0.95% to settle at $61.51 a barrel during the previous trading session.

Overseas, stocks in Europe moved higher Tuesday as investors monitored trade and political developments. The UK, meanwhile, is bracing to exit the European Union on March 29 with or without a trade agreement in hand. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will update lawmakers on the latest Brexit developments.

Most Asian stocks rose with investors looking to a new round of Sino-US trade talks as the world's two largest economies try to resolve a tariff dispute that has put a dent on global growth and corporate earnings.

US stocks closed mostly higher Monday after a choppy session as a round of US-China tariff negotiations in Beijing commenced and as the threat of another partial government shutdown loomed.

The latest round of trade negotiations between the US and China began Monday with working-level talks in Beijing, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are reportedly due to arrive Thursday for more high-level discussions.

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

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 16:19 IST