Mumbai: Benchmark indices began the trade on a weak note on Monday in tandem with bearish trend in global markets amid concerns over more rate hikes by developed economies. Fresh foreign fund outflows and weak trend in IT counters also dented investor sentiments. The BSE Sensex declined by 354.81 points to reach 59,109.12. The NSE Nifty slipped by 107.4 points to end at 17,358.40.
The BSE benchmark had declined by141.87 points or 0.24 percent to settle at 59,463.93 on Friday. The Nifty dipped by 45.45 points or 0.26 percent to end at 17,465.80. Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) offloaded shares worth Rs 1,470.34 crore on Friday, according to exchange data.
Foreign investors have turned cautious and pulled out Rs 2,313 crore from Indian equities so far this month.
From the Sensex pack, Infosys, Tata Motors, Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Steel and Maruti were the biggest laggards. NTPC, Nestle, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India were among the gainers.
In Asian markets, South Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong were trading lower. The US markets had ended sharply down on Friday.
International oil benchmark Brent crude declined 0.46 percent to USD 82.86 per barrel.
"With the overall sentiment remaining bearish, local equities are expected to ease in early Monday trades. Caution is likely to remain the buzzword as concerns over more rate hikes by developed economies in the wake of stubbornly high inflation levels continue to weigh on investors' minds," said Prashanth Tapse, Research Analyst, Senior VP (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd.
With FII selling gathering pace, the market has turned distinctly weak. The global market construct too is unfavourable with sharp cuts in the US last Friday following the 0.6 percent month-on-month inflation in the US in January, said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
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