Benchmark Sensex frittered away a good start to finish 57 points lower today, with investors choosing to book profits amid mixed global cues. The 30-share index had soared about 162 points to hit a high of 29,584.34 in early trade, but surrendered gains in mid-session selling, which dragged it down to 29,259.42. The barometer finally ended at 29,365.30, down 57.09 points or 0.19 per cent. The broader NSE Nifty closed lower by 17 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 9,119.40 after shuttling between 9,183.65 and 9,088.75. On a weekly basis, the BSE Sensex fell 96.15 points, or 0.32 per cent, and the Nifty 31.40 points, or 0.34 per cent, sliding for the second straight week. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 168.84 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. "The quarterly results till date have painted a mixed picture while concerns over upcoming French election is adding risk to the market.
A hawkish tone of RBI in its latest minutes has also added pressure on the downside," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. Among sectoral indices, the BSE FMCG fell the most at 0.97 per cent, followed by healthcare 0.76 per cent, metal 0.59 per cent, auto 0.41 per cent, IT 0.36 per cent, teck 0.21 per cent and PSU 0.17 per cent. Realty, power, capital goods, oil & gas and consumer durables closed higher by up to 2.37 per cent. Sun Pharma emerged as the top loser in the Sensex pack by plunging 2.41 per cent to Rs 640.05, followed by Cipla (1.84 per cent). Other laggards were ITC (1.81 per cent), Adani Ports (1.72 per cent), Power Grid (1.44 per cent), Wipro (1.36 per cent), ICICI Bank (1.34 per cent), Lupin (1.31 per cent), M&M (1.28 per cent), Coal India (1.12 per cent), Maruti Suzuki (1.10 per cent), HUL (1.08 per cent) and SBI (0.97 per cent). HDFC Bank was the biggest gainer, rising 2.38 per cent to Rs 1,496.75 after the company report an 18.2 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 3,990 crore for the March quarter. Reliance Industries remained at the centre of brisk activity and surged 2.22 per cent to Rs 1,399.75. NTPC, Asian Paints, L&T, Hero MotoCorp and ONGC too ended in green, rising up to 1.83 per cent. Outshining the Sensex, the broader markets put up a better show, with the small-cap index rising 0.25 per cent and mid-cap gaining 0.02 per cent. Globally, US markets ended higher overnight amid revived hopes of tax cuts, while Bank of Japan said it will keep accommodative policy in place. Asian markets were mostly mixed with Hong Kong's Hang Seng falling 0.06 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei rose 1.03 per cent. China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.03 per cent. Europe was in the grip of weakness in early session, with Paris CAC 40 falling 0.37 per cent after the latest terror attack on the city, while Frankfurt's DAX slid 0.16 per cent. London's FTSE shed 0.17 per cent.
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