Market continues to falter, Sensex dives 241 points

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016,12:00 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Mumbai | The market woes worsened Wednesday as the benchmark Sensex went down further by nearly 241 points, pulled down by heavy selling in metal, healthcare and banking sectors amid negative overseas cues due to persisting weakness in oil prices.

Uncertainty surrounding Budget announcements on February 29 and the futures and options expiry coming up tomorrow kept investors skittish. Investors are closely watching the Railway Budget as well, which will be presented tomorrow, while the Economic Survey is set to be unveiled on Friday.

The 30-share Sensex opened on a weaker note and fell to 23,169.39 at 1127 hours, down 240.79 points, or 1.03 per cent. The NSE Nifty turned lower by 71.90 points, or 1.01 per cent, to 7,037.65 at 1127 hours. NTPC took the biggest knock, down 3.15 per cent while ONGC lost 1.98 per cent, Adani Ports 1.89 per cent and HDFC Bank 1.87 per cent. However, Infosys jumped 1.13 per cent, followed by Asian Paints 0.80 per cent and HUL 0.47 per cent.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPI) sold shares worth a net Rs 289.66 crore yesterday, according to provisional data from stock exchanges.

Other Asian shares hit a soft patch too as oil prices moved south after Saudi Arabia effectively ruled out any production cut by major producers anytime soon, sending investors to safe haven assets, including the yen.

The US indices closed lower yesterday as plunging oil prices weighed on shares of oil and gas firms and their lenders.