Erasing early gains, equities close marginally down

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) After showing some marginal gains in early trade, India’s key indices — S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 — settled a tad low on Wednesday.
Sensex settled at 57,232.06 points, down 68.62 points or 0.12 per cent, whereas Nifty at 17,063.25 points was down 28.95 points or 0.17 per cent.
With Wednesday’s losses, the broader market indices have now been on a decline for six consecutive sessions due to heavy selling by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) amid geo-strategic tensions.
Among the sectoral indices, barring strong rise in Nifty realty and consumer durables, and PSU bank indices, others were mostly sideways.
“As global markets turned positive, the domestic indices opened the day on a positive note. However, the markets witnessed high volatility and succumbed to selling pressure to close the day in favour of bears,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
The impact of geopolitical uncertainties and soaring fuel costs will continue to keep the markets across the globe highly volatile, Nair added.
On the stocks front, ONGC, Hero Motocorp, NTPC, L&T, and JSW Steel were the top five losers among the Nifty 50 companies, declining 2.4 per cent, 2.2 per cent, 1.5 per cent, 1.3 per cent, and 1.3 per cent, respectively.
Kotak Mahindra Bank, Titan, Indusind Bank, Tata Consumers, and Maruti Suzuki India, on the contrary, were the top five gainers.
“Traders were cautious after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement that the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the ensuing jump in global crude prices are a challenge to financial stability in India,” Mohit Nigam, Head-PMS, Hem Securities, said in a note.

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