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Sensex edges lower, IRCTC surges on strong Q3 earnings

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Indian markets edged lower today after two days of gains, tracking mixed global markets. The Sensex fell 106 points to settle at 41,459, dragged down by losses in IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank and HDFC. The broader Nifty today settled 0.22% lower at 12,174.

Asian Paints, Axis Bank, ONGC, HDFC, Kotak BAnk, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel and NTPC fell between 1% and 2%. IndusInd Bank fell nearly 4% to be the top losers.

Among gainers, both SBI and Titan advanced over 2%.

Shares of IRCTC surged over 10% today after the company announced a big jump in its Q3 profit to 206 crore, from 73 crore in the same period of the previous year. It also announced a 10 interim dividend per share.

Elsewhere, Yes Bank gained 5% after the private sector lender said it has received non-binding expressions of interest from companies including JC Flowers & Co. LLC; Tilden Park Capital Management LP; OHA (UK) LLP (part of Oak Hill Advisors); and Silver Point Capital.

The bank delayed financial results for the third quarter ended December 2019 and said it is expected by mid-March as the management is “deeply engaged” in fundraising exercise.

“After two consecutive days of healthy gains, the Indian markets witnessed selling pressure at higher levels and Nifty ended the session lower. Unsupportive global cues and profit taking led to decline in the benchmark indices,” said Ajit Mishra, VP – research at Religare Broking.

“The updates on the spread of coronavirus would continue to remain one of the key monitorable for market participants. On the domestic front, last leg of earnings announcement would induce stock specific volatility in select companies,” he added.

Manav Chopra, head of research at Indiabulls Ventures, said: “Till 11,990 is not breached on the downside momentum will continue to favor Bulls and the Nifty is likely to head higher towards 12,450 zone. Immediate support is placed at 12,100 zone and traders should look to have a buy on dips approach.”

Data released on Wednesday showed annual retail inflation accelerated to its highest level in nearly six years, while industrial output unexpectedly contracted. Annual retail inflation rose to 7.59% in January, partly driven by rising vegetable prices. December industrial output contracted 0.3%, after rising for the first time in three months in November.

Global markets were mostly lower today despite a record finish on Wall Street after a dramatic spike in the number of coronavirus deaths and cases in China. Chinese authorities have changed the way they count infections from the virus and according to latest reports the nationwide death toll rose to 1,355 and the infection count to nearly 60,000. (With Agency Inputs)

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