Sensex ends 39 pts down in volatile trading

The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange index, Sensex, which dipped nearly 1.4 per cent at the outset, erased initial losses and closed 38.96 points down, or 0.20 per cent, at 19,545.35 on emergence of late buying in blue-chip at attractive low levels.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell 6.10 points, or 0.10 percent to 5,868.40, after touching the day's low of 5,791.55. Brokers said investors remain concerned that the Reserve Bank may hike key policy rates at its next monetary review meeting in a few days to tame high inflation. Besides, Asian stock markets showed a weak trend.

They also said that there was off-loading ahead of this month's settlement in the derivatives segment. However, there was some fag-end buying in fundamentally strong stocks available at lower levels and higher openings in European markets, which helped erase initial losses, taking the benchmark briefly in the green zone before the close.

Lower-than-expected earnings announced last week by the two most-heaviest stocks on the Sensex -- Reliance Industries and Infosys Technologies -- also weighed down the trading sentiment to some extend.

RIL fell 0.83 per cent at Rs 1,000.75 and Infosys by 0.13 per cent at Rs 2,938.45. The two carry nearly 23 per cent weightage on the Sensex. The consumer durables sector index suffered the most by dipping 0.80 per cent to 6,490.64, followed by oil and gas index, down 0.35 per cent at 10,093.44.

Realty sector index lost 0.31 per cent to 2,346.03 and IT index by 0.28 per cent to 6,244.40.
On the other hand, a gain in healthcare sector index by 0.42 per cent to 6,191.11 and FMCGT index by 0.08 per cent to 3,738.89 checked the fall.

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