Millennium Post

Sensex slumps over 200 pts ahead of Budget; Nifty tests 11,900

Mumbai: Market benchmark Sensex slumped over 200 points in opening session on Saturday ahead of the release of the Union Budget to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman later in the day.

After shedding 279 points in early trade, the 30-share BSE index was trading 124.96 points or 0.31 per cent lower at 40,598.53, and the broader NSE slipped 23.10 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 11,939.

In the previous session, Sensex settled 190.33 points, or 0.47 per cent, lower at 40,723.49, after the Economic Survey suggested relaxing fiscal deficit target to boost growth from a decade low.

Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty shed 73.70 points, or 0.61 per cent, to finish at 11,962.10.

On a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 4,179.12 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 3,816.44 crore on Friday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

Tech Mahindra, PowerGrid, Tata Steel, NTPC, Kotak Bank and HCL Tech were among the top laggards, shedding up to 3 per cent.

On the other hand, HUL, UltraTech Cement, Maruti and Asian Paints were trading with gains.

According to analysts, investors are cautious ahead of the Union Budget as all eyes will be on how centre is going to bring growth as any increase in spending would result in widening of fiscal deficit.

Negative cues from global markets amid concerns over China's coronavirus outbreak continued to weigh on investor sentiment here, traders said.

Benchmarks on Wall Street ended with sharp losses on Friday.

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