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Benchmark indices lost ground ahead of the US sales data on Thursday. The BSE barometer, the Sensex was trading 206.08 points lower at 20,242.41 points, while the NSE's Nifty was trading 66.85 points lower at 6,017.15 points at 2.45 pm IST. Earlier, US jobs data was disappointing as the US economy added 113,000 new jobs in January which was below expectation of 180,000 ne jobs.
On Wednesday, the latest data on the domestic industrial activity was disappointing as the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for December contracted 0.6% y-o-y.
Experts feel markets are likely to remain volatile. "Markets could remain volatile in a narrow range of plus / minus 25 points on Nifty throughout the session. Immediate support for Nifty is at 6060, while resistance is at 6125 level," HDFC Securities said in a note.
Among sectoral indices, BSE Bankex (-1.77%), BSE Oil & Gas (-1.58%) and BSE Consumer Durables (-0.16%) were the major losers. Among individual stocks, Cipla (-7.62%), Coal India (-3.24%) and ONGC (-3.13%) were the major losers.
Cipla on Wednesday reported 17% year-on-year fall in consolidated net profit to Rs 284 crore for the quarter ended December.
Experts feel this a good time to enter the markets. "Our long-term March 2015 target for Sensex is 34,000. Another 4-5% fall would be ideal to buy into quality cyclical stocks," said Gaurav Mehta, VP, Ambit Capital.
Among Asian indices, the Nikkei (-1.79%), Hang Seng (-0.54%) and Kospi (-0.46%) were trading in the red.