Weakness persisted on the bourses in mid-morning trade as index pivotals remained gripped under selling pressure. At 11:30 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 151.44 points or 0.51% at 29,497.55. The Nifty 50 index was down 40.80 points or 0.45% at 9,119.25. Weakness in most Asian stocks dampened sentiment on the domestic bourses.
The BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.03%. The fall in this index was lower than Sensex's decline in percentage terms. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.19%, outperforming the Sensex.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, turned negative from positive. On the BSE, 1,224 shares declined and 1,199 shares rose. A total of 180 shares were unchanged.
Metal and mining stocks declined as copper prices fell in global commodity markets. Vedanta (down 1.04%), Tata Steel (down 1.61%), Steel Authority of India (Sail) (down 0.63%), National Aluminium Company (down 1.36%), Hindustan Zinc (down 0.52%), Jindal Steel & Power (down 1.89%), Hindalco Industries (down 1.5%) and NMDC (down 1.23%) edged lower. Hindustan Copper (up 0.89%) and JSW Steel (up 0.08%) rose.
Copper edged lower in the global commodities market. High Grade Copper for March 2017 delivery was currently off 0.63% at $2.6745 per pound on the COMEX.
Capital goods stocks saw mixed trend. ABB India (up 0.26%), Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) (up 0.59%), Bharat Electronics (up 0.06%) rose. Thermax (up 0.2%), Siemens (down 1.28%) and BEML (down 1.24%) declined.
L&T slipped 0.68%. L&T during market hours today, 20 March 2017 said that L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company, has bagged an offshore contract for the Neelam Re-Development & B173AC Project from the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) valued at Rs 1656 crores (USD 245 Million).
The contract, won against international competitive bidding, encompasses total 'EPCIC' - Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation and Commissioning for the project. The scope includes one new process platform having gas processing and compression facilities, three new well head platforms, 32 km pipeline, clamp-on on three existing platforms and modification work on eight existing platforms in the Neelam Field in western offshore basin in India.
The project, part of ONGC's strategy to enhance the field life and increase recovery of Neelam field, is scheduled to be completed by April 2019.
Jindal Poly Films fell 2.35% to Rs 427.70 on profit booking after a recent rally. Shares of Jindal Poly Films rose 36.30% in six trading sessions to settle at Rs 438 on Friday, 17 March 2017, from its close of Rs 321.35 on 8 March 2017.
Rupa & Company fell 3.98% to Rs 327, with the stock sliding on profit booking after recent rally. Shares of Rupa & Company had rallied 25.69% in the preceding four trading sessions to settle at Rs 340.55 on Friday, 17 March 2017, from its closing of Rs 270.95 on 10 March 2017.
Overseas, most Asian stocks were trading lower with markets in Japan shut for a holiday and investors watching oilfield-related shares after a bankruptcy filing by Singapore's Ezra Holdings at the weekend. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly said on Sunday, 19 March 2017 in Germany that the European Union and Japan should soon reach an economic deal, and stressed the importance of free trade to his country.
US stocks edged lower on Friday, 17 March 2017 with investors awaiting further catalysts before jumping back into the market. In the latest economic data, industrial production was flat in February. Separately, the index of consumer sentiment rose to 97.6 in March from 96.3 in February, based on a preliminary reading by the University Michigan.
Finance ministers from twenty of the world's biggest economies held a two-day meeting, and warned against competitive devaluations and disorderly foreign exchange markets but failed to agree on keeping global trade free and open.
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