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Mumbai: Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty slipped into the negative zone in opening deals on Thursday, weighed down by disappointing macroeconomic data.

The BSE gauge Sensex was trading lower by 51.28 points or 0.12 per cent at 41,514.62 in early trade; while the NSE barometer Nifty was down 16.55 points or 0.14 per cent at 12,184.65.

Both key indices were in the red primarily due to emergence of selling in financial and auto stocks.

Hurting market sentiment, government data on Wednesday showed that industrial output contracted by 0.3 per cent in December while retail inflation jumped to a 68-month high of 7.59 per cent in January on high food prices.

Ahead of the release of IIP and inflation data, the Sensex had settled 349.76 points, or 0.85 per cent, higher at 41,565.90; and the Nifty had clocked 93.30 points, or 0.77 per cent, gains to settle at 12,201.20 on Wednesday.

Provisional data showed that foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 48.81 crore on a net basis on Wednesday.

The Indian rupee was trading lower by 8 paise at 71.41 gainst the US dollar in opening deals on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks were trading mixed as coronavirus concerns continued to impact investor sentiment globally.

The number of fatalities and new cases from China's coronavirus outbreak soared on Thursday, with over 200 more deaths and thousands of new patients.




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