Sensex falls for 3rd day, down over 59 pts at four-month low

Extending its losing run to third day, the BSE benchmark Sensex today fell by over 59 points to end at a fresh four-month low of 18,450.23 on sustained selling by overseas funds in consumer durables, FMCG, capital goods and power shares, amid a weak global trend.

Fall in ITC, HDFC, ICICI Bank, Infosys, L&T, Tata Motors and NTPC mainly weighed on the 30-share Sensex. The barometer moved erratically in a narrow range of over 135 points before ending at 18,450.23, a fall of 59.47 points or 0.32 per cent. In past three days, it is down 590.72 points or 3.10 per cent.

"FIIs too turned sellers in the last trading sessions which further weakened sentiments. Political uncertainties along with concerns of continuing slow sales growth in many segments of economy has led the investors to adopt cautionary approach and are seen booking profits on every rally," said Rakesh Goel, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio Limited.

Global cues are also giving an uncertain scenario in near term as US data is being eyed now, he added.

The broad-based 50-issue CNX Nifty of the NSE also dipped by 21.50 points or 0.39 per cent to 5,553.25.

Smart rise in Maruti Suzuki, RIL and ONGC cushioned the market fall to a major extent. Maruti Suzuki was the top gainer with a rise of 7.23 per cent on the back of a weak yen which would boost margins by reducing the costs of imports.

Outside benchmark indices, sugar stocks including Andhra Sugar, Balrampur Chini, Oudh Sugar Mill and Uttam Sugar saw gains in 3-20 per cent range.

Government partially decontrolled the sector by giving freedom to millers to sell in open market and removed their obligation to supply sugar at subsidised rate to ration shops.

Meanwhile, Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 326.21 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

In Asia, indices like Hang Seng, KOSPI, Strait Times and SET Composite closed down while Nikkei and Jakarta Comp ended up. In Europe, FTSE, CAC 40 and DAX were trading 1.4-2 per cent down in afternoon trade.

Markets in mainland China and Taiwan were shut for holidays. US stocks fell yesterday following lower than expected readings on the US non-manufacturing sector and private-sector job growth.

European markets were trading narrowly mixed in their early trade as investors awaited an update on monetary policy from European Central Bank and Bank of England.

Key indices in France and Germany inched up by 0.45-0.77 per cent while London's FTSE eased by 0.08 per cent.

Turning to the local market, 24 scrips out of 30-share Sensex pack ended lower.

Major losers from Sensex were Jindal Steel (4.32 pc), Tata Steel (3.97 pc), Sterlite Ind (3.09 pc), Infosys (2.74 pc), Hero Motocorp (2.67 pc), ITC (2.61 pc), Bharti Airtel (2.46 pc), Hindalco (2.37 pc), TCS (2.36 pc), BHEL (2.35 pc), HDFC (2.14 pc), ICICI Bank (2.07 pc), SBI (1.96 pc) and Reliance Industries (1.29 pc).

"Slowdown in China and fall in commodity prices are among the major concerns for the Indian markets. The political uncertainty will continue to impact market moves and with talks of an early election on the cards, market may turn cautious in the near term," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.

However, Dr Reddy's Lab firmed up by 3.03 per cent, followed by Coal Ind (2.56 pc), HUL (1.68 pc) and Maruti Suzuki (1.06 pc).

From sectoral indices, S&P BSE-Realty tumbled by 3.39 per cent, followed by S&P BSE-IT (2.45 pc), S&P BSE-Teck (2.44 pc), S&P BSE-CD (2.05 pc), S&P BSE Bankex (1.89 pc), S&P BSE-Metal (1.75 pc) and S&P BSE-Power (1.75 pc).

Total market breadth remained negative as 1,850 stocks ended down while 907 finished up. 111 scrips ruled steady.

Total turnover dipped to Rs 1,551.16 crore from Rs 1,963.93 crores yesterday.

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