Sensex down nearly 150 points; Nifty below 10,600

NEW DELHI: After a strong ‘Muhurat’ session, markets on Friday started weak with the benchmark BSE Sensex losing nearly 150 points and the broader NSE Nifty trading below the 10,600-mark. Sensex dropped 142 points or 0.41 per cent to 35,095, while Nifty stood 31 points or 0.29 per cent down at 10,567.

Bharti Airtel, Wipro, Infosys, ITC and ONGC were among the top losers on the BSE index, down as much as 2.68 per cent. On NSE, sub-indices Nifty IT and Metal lost as much as 0.43 per cent.

Sensex had surged 246 points to end above the key 35,000-mark on Wednesday as investors built up fresh positions in the special ‘Muhurat’ session to mark the beginning of Hindu Samvat year 2075.

Asian stocks pulled back from a one-month high on Friday as the Federal Reserve appeared poised to deliver another interest rate hike next month, paring gains made earlier this week after US midterm elections triggered a global equities rally.

The Fed held interest rates steady on Thursday but remained on track to continue gradually raising borrowing costs, pointing to healthy economic prospects that were marred only by a dip in the growth of business investment.

The central bank has hiked US interest rates three times this year and is widely expected to do so again next month.

Meanwhile, the rupee appreciated 35 paise to 72.65 against the dollar in early trade, following US mid-tem election results and easing crude oil prices. Forex traders said the rise was also supported by dollar-selling by exporters and banks and the US unit’s weakness against some currencies overseas.

(With inputs from agencies)

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