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Sensex, Nifty Erase Gains; Pharma, Media Shares Worst Hit

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Sensex, Nifty Erase Gains; Pharma, Media Shares Worst Hit

The Indian equity benchmarks erased intraday gains in noon deals ahead of weekly expiry of index futures and option contracts due later in the day with Sensex falling as much as 614 points from day’s highest level and Nifty 50 index dropping below its important psychological level of 17,200. Index heavyweights like ICICI Bank, HDFC, Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma and State Bank of India were among the top drags on the Sensex. However, the downside was capped owing to buying interest in Infosys, Bajaj Finance, Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank.

As of 12:38 pm, the Sensex was down 5 points at 57,783 and Nifty 50 index declined 5 points to 17,216.

Volatility spiked in afternoon deals as traders were seen squaring off their index derivative contracts ahead of weekly expiry due later in the day, analysts said.

Selling pressure was broad-based as thirteen of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Media index’s over 2 per cent decline. Nifty Healthcare, Private Bank, PSU Bank, Pharma, FMCG, Auto and Bank indexes also fell between 0.5-1.2 per cent.

On the other hand, IT shares were witnessing buying interest led by the country’s second largest IT company – Infosys.

Mid- and small-cap shares were also witnessing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index declined 0.75 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index dropped 1.13 per cent.

Eicher Motors was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 2 per cent to Rs 2,444. Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Sun Pharma, Hindalco, Cipla, Bajaj Auto, IndusInd Bank, Tata Consumer Products, UPL, ICICI Bank and Power Grid also fell between 1-1.8 per cent.

On the flipside, Bajaj Finance, Infosys, Grasim Industries, Wipro, Bharat Petroleum, Coal India, Mahindra & Mahindra and ONGC were among the gainers.

The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 1,933 shares were declining while 1,329 were advancing on the BSE.

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