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Markets have started the trading session on a lower note tracking weak Asian cues along with financials leading the fall.
By 9:30, the Sensex was lower by 34 points at 20,667 mark and the Nifty slipped by 13 points at 6,142 levels.
Asian stocks dropped and the dollar firmed on Monday, as investors looked past the Group of 20's latest commitment to spur faster global growth and turned their focus back to the impact of the US Federal Reserve's stimulus withdrawal.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.6%, while Japan's Nikkei stock average added 0.1%, paring earlier gains.
US stocks slipped on Friday on options-related trading, with the S&P 500 facing resistance as it flirts with its record high even as economic data continues to underwhelm.
Shares declined late in the session due in part to trades related to options expiration, according to market participants.
US home resales, also known as existing home sales, fell more than expected in January and hit an 18 month-low as the combination of cold weather and a lack of housing stock sidelined potential buyers.
The Dow Jones ended down 0.2% at 16,103, the S&P 500 lost 0.2% to close at 1,836 and the tech-laden Nasdaq ended 0.1% lower at 4,263.
Back home, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 603.41 crore on Friday, 21 February 2014, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
Investors and traders will keenly track the trends in rollover of January derivative contracts to February for cues on near-term trends. The F&O segment expiry session will be held on Wednesday this month, as markets would remain closed on Thursday for Mahashivratri.
Cautious sentiment will remain ahead of the December quarter gross domestic product (GDP) reading on Friday, which will be closely watched by the market to gauge whether the decline in economic growth has stemmed.
On the sectoral front, BSE Bankex and Power indices have plunged by nearly 1% each followed by counters like Realty, me
The main losers on the Sensex at this hour include NTPC, TCS, Tata Steel, HDFC Bank, Maruti Suzuki, SBI, HDFC and ICICI Bank.
NTPC has slipped by over 7%. Power companies are in focus.
Shares of Tata Power and Adani Power are trading higher by up to 7% after the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has decided the methodology for determination of compensatory tariff for Mundra power projects.
Tata Power has gained by nearly 6%. Other notable gainers are Axis Bank, L&T, Bharti Airtel and Sun Pharma.
The broader markets are outperforming the benchmark indices- BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices 0.1-0.3%.
The market breadth in BSE remains positive with 642 shares advancing and 387 shares declining.
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