Profit booking persists, Sensex falls 257 points


Mumbai : Profit booking continued at Indian equities markets Thursday as investors sold off realty and metal stocks resulting in a key index closing 257 points in the red, but still above the day’s lows, after having plummeted about 90 minutes before end of trade.

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The benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Sensex, which opened at 14,503.05 points, fell 257.31 points or 1.77 percent from Wednesday’s close to end trade at 14,265.53 points.

The Sensex hit an intra-day high of 14,630.73 points and a low of 14,188.25 points.

Like the Sensex, the S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) too closed in the red, ending 2.4 percent lower at 4,251.4 points.

Broader market indices suffered more, with investors choosing to book profits in companies in the BSE midcap and smallcap segments.

The BSE midcap index ended 2.87 percent lower, while the BSE smallcap index was down 3.7 percent.

Of the 13 sectoral indices on the BSE, only that for IT ended in the green, while realty, metal, power and capital goods stocks lost the most.

The market breadth was negative, with only 534 stocks advancing compared to 2,094 declining, while 56 scrips remained unchanged.

There were only six gainers on the 30-composite Sensex, the prominent being SBI, up 2.33 percent at Rs.1,702.20; Sun Pharma, up 1.54 percent at Rs.1,316.65; Tata Motors, up 1.34 percent at Rs.328.60; and Infosys, up 0.64 percent at Rs.1,721.45.

Of the losers on the Sensex were ACC, down 8.25 percent at Rs.758.35; Jaiprakash Associates, down 6.73 percent at Rs.191.30; Tata Steel, down 6.71 percent at Rs.389; and Hindalco, down 6.66 percent at Rs.87.55.

Trading volume again crossed the Rs.1 lakh crore mark to stand at Rs.111,911.92 crore.

Of this, Rs.20,827.07 crore came from NSE cash segment and Rs.83,936.67 crore from NSE futures and options segment, while the balance Rs.7,148.18 crore came from the BSE cash segment.

Data with the market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) showed that foreign funds had sold shares worth $47.3 million.

Other Asian markets were in the red, with a key index of the Tokyo stock exchange, Nikkei 225 Stock Average, closing Thursday at 9,703.72 points, 137.13 points lower than its previous close.

The Hang Seng, a primary index of the Hong Kong stock exchange, fared no better losing 307.94 points to shut shop at 17,776.66 points.

European markets too were trading on a tepid note, with the FTSE, a key British index, falling 16.88 points to 4,261.58 while its French peer, CAC 40, was ruling 9.37 points down at 3,151.77 points.

US markets were expected to get off on a mixed note, with key index futures giving out mixed signals. Both the Dow Jones and Standard and Poor’s 500 futures were up 0.1 percent, while Nasdaq futures fell 0.2 percent.