Indian markets ended the session down by over 0.4 per cent on Thursday. Trading was highly volatile due to political developments at the Centre after DMK withdrew its support for the UPA.

According to market watchers, the sentiment remained cautious on fears of the Government being forced to call early elections, leading to a weakening of its reform agenda. This comes after the ruling UPA ally DMK withdrew its support from the coalition earlier this week.

The BSE Sensex was down 91.32 points (0.48 per cent) at 18,792.87 and the NSE Nifty was down 37.45 points (0.66 per cent) at 5,656.95.

Realty, auto, power and capital goods sectors lost favour with investors and were down by over 2.2 per cent, while consumer durables and TECk sectors supported the Sensex with each trading up by over 0.6 per cent.

Asian stocks rose, led by Japanese shares, as investors bet the nation’s new central bank governor will announce fresh stimulus and after a survey showed Chinese manufacturing expanded faster than expected.

Pick-up in China's manufacturing sector and a commitment by the US Federal Reserve to maintain an accommodative monetary stance boosted the trading sentiment.

The HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index for China rose to 51.7 in March from 50.4 in February.

European stocks were down as a report showed German manufacturing contracted this month.

(This article was published on March 21, 2013)
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