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Sensex, Nifty close flat as Fed rate hike looms

Indian share markets opened lower on Friday tracking global cues and firm dollar as investors are nervous over a possible interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve in March policy review.

business Updated: Mar 03, 2017 16:05 IST
Raj Kumar Ray
Sensex
A man looks at a screen across a road displaying the Sensex on the facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India.(Reuters File Photo)

Indian share markets closed flat on Friday tracking weak global cues as investors are nervous over a possible interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve in March policy review.

The 30-share benchmark Sensex opened lower and fell 124 points in intraday trade and closed down 0.03% at 28,832.45. The Nifty was down 0.02% at 8,897.55 as investors booked profits and as global uncertainties over Fed rate hike and Brexit.

Reliance Industries ended up 2% on hopes over its telecom unit, Jio, with CLSA citing optimistic assessment provided by the company at an analyst meeting.

GAIL finished up 3.7% on news it has signed a time-swap deal with Swiss trader Gunvor to sell some of its US liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Hindalco Industries Ltd closed 9% after the company said it would raise $500 million in a share offering to repay its debt.

Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.5%, Hang Seng 0.7%, Kospi was down 1.1% and Strait Times 1% and Shanghai 0.3%.

Europe was all in red in intraday trade as a euro zone inflation rose and political uncertainties in France linger.

The dollar gained on expectation of Fed rate hike, which halted the winning streak at the Wall Street.

On Thursday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to trigger Article 50 on March 15 for exiting European Union despite an overwhelming defeat at the House of Lords.

Hawkish comments from Fed officials boosted the probability of rate hike this month to 74% from just 30% at the start of the week. Investors are waiting to hear Fed chair Janet Yellen and vice-chair Stanley Fischer later on Friday to get fresh cues.

Oil prices fell as Russian crude production remained unchanged in February, raising doubts over the deal to cut output as per the OPEC deal. But it recovered in intra-day to $52.7 a barrel.