Indian shares fell sharply on Wednesday tracking global cues and as investors keenly await the assembly election results of key states like Uttar Pradesh due on Saturday.
The Sensex opened tad above 29,000-level but fell as much as 184 points or 0.6% to 28,815 in early trades flat while Nifty fell 0.5% and slid below 8,900-level. However, late buying helped lift the indices with the Sensex reclaiming the 29,000-level and Nifty bouncing back from below 8,900-level.
The 30-share benchmark Sensex closed down 98 points or 0.34% at 29,001.94 while Nifty finished down 0.25% at 8,924.30.
SBI led the Sensex chart gaining 0.6% followed by TCS and Power Grid up 0.5% each, and HDFC Bank 0.45%.
MTNL gained 15.7% on news that the government may revive plans of merging it with state-run BSNL.
Aviation stocks jumped 3-5.5% after the Delhi government slashed tax on aviation turbine fuel to 1% from 25%, which will lead to a massive savings. Indigo finished up 1.7% while Jet Airways gained 2.4% and SpiceJet 2.9%.
Analysts expect choppy trade ahead of state assembly election results of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand scheduled to come out on March 11.
A win in UP will bolster Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chances of winning the second term when the Lok Sabha elections are held in 2019.
On Wednesday, Asian markets traded lower as investors booked profits after a fall in shares at the Wall Street ahead of the Federal Reserve’s March policy review on March 14-15, which is widely perceived to hike interest rates for the second time in a quarter.
China’s robust exports and imports growth also signalled global recovery and lifted investor sentiment.
The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.1% in early trade. Nikkei ended down 0.47% while Hang Seng was up 0.4%, Kospi 0.06% and Strait Times 0.47%.
Europe traded in the green as investors weathered political uncertainties.
US shares closed down on tumbling pharma stocks after US President Donald Trump tweeted “I am working on a new system where there will be competition in the Drug Industry. Pricing for the American people will come way down!”
Dollar and euro were little changed while oil prices hovered near $53 a barrel.