Sensex, Nifty cautious in late morning trade

Mumbi, Feb 01 (Agencies) : Market benchmarks Sensex and Nifty turned cautious in late-morning trade on Saturday as Finance Minster Nirmala Sitharaman began presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 in Parliament.

After gyrating over 450 points in the morning session, the 30-share BSE Sensex was trading 30.84 points, or 0.08 per cent, higher at 40,754.33 at 1130 hours.

Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty advanced 10.35 or 0.09 per cent, to 11,972.45.

Sensex was trading over 150 points higher ahead of the Budget presentation.

Presenting the Budget for 2020-21, Sitharaman said fundamentals of the economy were strong and inflation had been well contained, while banks cleaned up accumulated loans.

She said this Budget is aimed at boosting income and purchasing power of people.

Top gainers in the Sensex pack included Maruti, HUL, Bajaj Finance, UltraTech Cement, TCS, Asian Paints and Bajaj Auto.

However, PowerGrid, NTPC, Tech Mahindra, Tata Steel and ONGC were trading in the red.

The forex market remained closed for the weekend.

Market benchmark Sensex slumped over 200 points in opening session on Saturday ahead of the release of the Union Budget to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman later in the day.

After shedding 279 points in early trade, the 30-share BSE index was trading 124.96 points or 0.31 per cent lower at 40,598.53, and the broader NSE slipped 23.10 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 11,939.

In the previous session, Sensex settled 190.33 points, or 0.47 per cent, lower at 40,723.49, after the Economic Survey suggested relaxing fiscal deficit target to boost growth from a decade low.

Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty shed 73.70 points, or 0.61 per cent, to finish at 11,962.10.

On a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 4,179.12 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 3,816.44 crore on Friday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

Tech Mahindra, PowerGrid, Tata Steel, NTPC, Kotak Bank and HCL Tech were among the top laggards, shedding up to 3 per cent.

On the other hand, HUL, UltraTech Cement, Maruti and Asian Paints were trading with gains.

According to analysts, investors are cautious ahead of the Union Budget as all eyes will be on how centre is going to bring growth as any increase in spending would result in widening of fiscal deficit.

Negative cues from global markets amid concerns over China’s coronavirus outbreak continued to weigh on investor sentiment here, traders said.

Benchmarks on Wall Street ended with sharp losses on Friday.

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