Sensex, Nifty start on a choppy note

Mumbai, Mar 4 (PTI) Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty opened on a choppy note on Wednesday tracking persistent foreign fund outflow and tepid cues from global markets as concerns over the economic fallout of coronavirus epidemic continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

The 30-share index was trading 47.12 points, or 0.12 per cent, lower at 38,576.58, and the NSE Nifty slipped 10.20 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 11,293.10.

IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, HDFC Bank, SBI and ICICI Bank were among the top losers, while Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel and HCL Tech were trading with gains.

In the previous session, the 30-share BSE barometer surged 479.68 points or 1.26 per cent to end at 38,623.70, and the broader Nifty jumped 170.55 points or 1.53 per cent to close at 11,303.30.

On a net basis, foreign institutional investors (FPIs) sold equities worth Rs 2,415.80 crore, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 3,135.24 crore on Tuesday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

According to traders, besides incessant foreign fund outflow, market remained on edge as six people in India were confirmed to be infected by coronavirus.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in South Korea rallied over 2 per cent after the country reported a significantly lower increase in the number of fresh coronavirus cases than the day before.

Stock exchanges in China, Hong Kong and Japan were also trading with gains in their morning sessions.

On the other hand, US stocks ended sharply lower on Tuesday, despite a surprise inter-meeting interest-rate cut from the Federal Reserve.

The US central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by a sizable half-percentage point in an effort to support the economy in the face of the spreading coronavirus.

Chairman Jerome Powell noted that the coronavirus “poses evolving risks to economic activity”.

The rupee appreciated 24 paise to 72.95 against the US dollar in morning session.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures jumped 1.45 per cent to USD 52.61 per barrel.

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