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Closing Bell: Sensex falls 314 points but holds 60,000 mark as market extends losses to 2nd day

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The Sensex and Nifty50 indices fell for a second straight day, dragged by losses in financial, oil & gas and IT shares.

Closing Bell: Sensex falls 314 points but holds 60,000 mark as market extends losses to 2nd day
Indian equity benchmarks failed to hold on to intraday gains in a choppy session on Wednesday, extending losses to a second straight day. Losses in financial, oil & gas and IT shares pulled the headline indices lower, though gains in consumer and automobile shares limited the downside.
The 30-scrip Sensex index ended 314 points or 0.5 percent lower at 60,008.3 and the broader Nifty50 benchmark settled at 17,898.7, down 100.6 points or 0.6 percent from its previous close.
UPL, Reliance Industries, Cipla, Britannia, Axis Bank, Indian Oil and Coal India -- ending between 1.9 percent and 3.2 percent lower -- were the worst hit among the 35 laggards in the Nifty50 pack.
On the other hand, Asian Paints, Maruti Suzuki, SBI Life, Tata Motors, NTPC and ITC -- ending with gains of 1.6 percent and 2.4 percent -- were among the gainers. Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors were among the top performers in the 50-member pack for a second straight day.
"The surge in fresh COVID cases is keeping global investors on the edge fanning fears of an economic slowdown. On the domestic front, the auto sector was in focus as reports suggested relief in chip and semiconductor shortages," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Asian Paints ended 2.5 percent higher after brokerages maintained a positive stance on the paintmaker following its decision to take a price hike.
Apollo Hospitals closed with a gain of 12.5 percent, gaining momentum after its quarterly numbers beat Street estimates. The stock rose for the seventh session in a row.
Broader markets were mixed. The Nifty Midcap 100 index tumbled 0.7 percent, though its smallcap counterpart rose 0.1 percent.
Technical view
"Feeble global cues are weighing on sentiment and there is nothing much to cheer on the domestic front. Indications are in the favour of a further slide but the pace would be gradual," said Ajit Mishra, VP-Research at Religare Broking.
"The Nifty has next support around 17,800-17,700 levels. In case of a rebound, 18,000 would act as a hurdle," he said.
Global market
European stocks saw yet another day of record highs, rising for a sixth straight session, riding on the back of positive quarterly results. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.2 percent at the last count.
S&P 500 futures were down 0.1 percent.
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