Sensex back in green, Nifty comfortably above 8,900; Maruti top gainer

The benchmark indices on Thursday extended losses for the third straight day ahead of the exit poll results of state elections due later in the day. 

At 02:50 pm, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 28,915, up 13 points, while the broader Nifty50 was ruling at 8,925, up 1 points. 

In the broader market, BSE Smallcap index outperformed the frontline indices to rise 0.2%, while BSE Midcap was little changed. 

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, turned negative. On the BSE, 1,302 shares fell and 1,197 shares rose. A total of 136 shares were unchanged.

The exit poll results will flash at 5:30 pm today. Any clear trend showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in front could trigger buying by investors.

Actual results will be announced on Saturday, and will help to shape the next two years of Modi's government as it heads for the 2019 general election.

Maruti Suzuki India gained over 2% and was the top Sensex gainer after the auto major geared up to introduce four new products in 2017-18. Of them, two will be new models and two will be upgrades.

Shares of Shree Renuka surged over 4% to Rs 16 after the company informed exchanges that it has approved the allotment of 1.64 crore shares to Standard Chartered Bank, one of the company’s lenders against the conversion of a part of the company’s loans. 

Among losers, Dr Reddy's Laboratories tanked to its 52-week low of Rs 2,751, down 3.5% after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made 13 observations at the company’s formulations facility at Duvvada in Visakhapatnam. The scrip was the top Sensex loser. 

Shares of Gail (India) declined as much as 5% to Rs 369 after the stock turned ex-bonus in the ratio of 1:3. 

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