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Markets reeled for the second consecutive day as the benchmark Sensex today plunged by over 321 points, with no let-up in selling by foreign investors ahead of the Union Budget and oil trying to find its bottom. Derivative contracts are set to expire tomorrow, which also held back investors. Fund managers are closely tracking the Railway Budget, which is due tomorrow, while the Economic Survey is slated for Friday. The Union Budget for 2016-17 is set to be presented on Monday. Asian shares fell, reflecting the weakness in crude oil prices, which went down further after major producer Saudi Arabia said no to any production cut in the near future in an already-oversupplied market. The 50-share NSE Nifty failed to hold on to the crucial 7,100-mark as it lost 90.85 points, or 1.28 per cent, to end at 7,018.70. The weak European and US macroeconomic data only fed to the nervousness. The 30-share Sensex, which started the session on a weaker note, plunged 321.25 points, or 1.37 per cent, to 23,088.93 at the close -- a nearly two-week low. The barometer had lost 379 in yesterday's trade. "The nearing of F&O expiry and the Budget are keeping the domestic market volatile. India is currently under-performing compared to other emerging markets due to the uncertainty regarding the Union Budget," said Vinod Nair, Head-Fundamental Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. As many as 23 Sensex stocks closed with losses, including BHEL, NTPC, Tata Motors, HDFC and ICICI Bank. However, Bharti Airtel, M&M, Asian Paints, Hindustan Unilever, Axis Bank, RIL and Infosys managed to register gains. The metal index bled the most, down 2.62 per cent, followed by healthcare (1.72 per cent), capital goods (1.67 per cent), banking (1.36 per cent) and PSU (1.29 per cent). The broader markets cut a sorry figure too, with BSE small-cap falling 1.15 per cent and mid-cap shedding 0.79 per cent. Foreign portfolio investors (FPI) sold shares worth a net Rs 289.66 crore yesterday, according to provisional data. Overseas, most Asian and European indices declined, tracking the overnight sell-off in the US after oil prices moved south.


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Stock markets ended on a flat note on Wednesday, just below their record highs, but finished Samvat 2073 with robust gains of over 16 per cent. Equities added over Rs 25 lakh crore to investors' wealth this Samvat year. The benchmark Sensex has gained 4642.84 points, or 16.61 per cent, in the Hindu Samvat year 2073, while the broader NSE Nifty surged 1572.85 points, or 18.20 per cent during this period.
Small loss in last session
In the last session of the Samvat 2073 on Wednesday, the 50-share Nifty fell by 23.60 points or 0.23 per cent to close at 10,210.85 after moving between 10,175.75 and 10,236.45. The Sensex resumed lower at 32,518.56 and fell further to a low of 32,462.85 before ending at 32,584.35, down 24.81 points or 0.08 per cent. Investors adopted a cautious approach ahead of the long Diwali weekend, while a weak rupee too affected sentiment, brokers said.
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The Aditya Birla group has entered the top valuation league with a market cap of over USD 50 billion post listing of financial services arm Aditya Birla Capital (ABCL), but Tatas remain on top with over USD 132 billion.
The combined market valuation of the Kumar Mangalam Birla-led listed companies stood at Rs 3,42,354.87 crore (USD 53.5 billion) at the end of Friday's trade.
Among various listed companies of the group, UltraTech Cement's valuation stood at Rs 1,10,097.70 crore at the end of Friday's trade while that of Grasim Industries was Rs 76,881.73 crore.
The newly-listed Aditya Birla Capital's market capitalisation was over Rs 55,000 crore, Hindalco (Rs 54,607.09 crore), Idea Cellular (Rs 32,064.91 crore), Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (Rs 13,155.73 crore) and Aditya Birla Money (Rs 547.71 crore).
Among Indian conglomerates, the Tata group remains on the top in terms of total valuation of listed firms with about Rs 8,46,567 crore (USD 132.5 billion).
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