Closing Bell: Markets halt the winning run in a choppy trading session
On the last day of the financial year domestic equity bourses Sensex and Nifty ended a choppy session in the red as weakness was seen across global markets.
The Indian equity indices ended lower on Thursday, snapping three straight sessions of gains in volatile trade. Headline indices swung between gains and losses during the intraday session before settling in the red amid the expiry of futures and options (F&O) contracts for March.
Asian markets traded on a weak note tracking an overnight Wall Street loss, while oil dropped sharply as the United States has called for a massive draw from its reserves to rein in soaring fuel prices. Brent crude futures for May fell USD 5.77, or 5.36% to USD 1087.68 per barrel. US West Texas Intermediate futures for May delivery slipped USD 6.13, or 6.03%, to USD 101.69 per barrel.
In today's trade, after opening in green on the back of a weak US dollar and FPI turning buyers, the benchmarks quickly turned volatile in afternoon deals, in line with the global market mood. The hopes of a de-escalation in the war have proved to be short-lived, and the uncertainties associated with the conflict continue, which dented investor sentiment globally. Thus leading to the Indian market closing in red.
At the closing bell on March 31, the Sensex lost 115 points to close at 58,568.51 while the Nifty slipped by 30 points and closed at the 17,468 mark.
On a sectoral basis, FMCG and realty ended in the green, while selling was seen in pharma, IT and PSU Banks. In the broad market, the midcap and smallcap indices ended in the green.
On the BSE index, Reliance, Dr Reddy's, Wipro, Maruti, UltraTech Cement, Bajaj Finserv, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Infosys were among the top losers. Top gainers include M&M, Hindustan Unilever, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, Bharti Airtel and Titan.
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