Sensex off record high level; investors await inflation Nos

Sensex off record high level; investors await inflation Nos

The BSE benchmark index Sensex today receded from record high level by losing 108 points to close at 21,826.42, with investors booking profit at higher levels snapping five days of straight gains.

The 30-share barometer in the early trade breached the 22,000-level briefly on firm Asian trends but fell back later and remained in the negative terrain before ending at 21,826.42, a fall of 108.41 points or 0.49 per cent.

The broad-based NSE 50-issue Nifty also declined by 25.35 points or 0.39 per cent to 6,511.90. It logged an all-time intra-day high of 6,562.85.

The Sensex had crossed the 22,000-mark for the first time yesterday on sustained capital inflows. It had zoomed by 988 points in past straight five sessions of gains.

The buoyant mood was somehow disturbed by country's exports which contracted 3.67 per cent in February to USD 25.68 billion. But the takeaway for investors in February trade data was a marked improvement in the trade deficit mainly on account of a significant decline in gold imports.

The trade deficit in February narrowed to USD 8.13 billion, the lowest level in five months.

Metal, pharma, auto, capital and banking stocks attracted profit-selling, while realty and power stocks were in demand.

Of the 30 Sensex shares, 18 scrips ended lower and the 11 others closed higher while Infosys ruled steady.

Major losers from Sensex pack were Tata Steel at 5.52 per cent, Hindalco 3.69 per cent, SSLT 3.63 per cent, Maruti Suzuki 2.67 per cent, Sun Pharma 2.63 per cent, Gail India 2.18 per cent, M&M 1.97 per cent, HDFC Bank 1.23 per cent, RIL 1.22 per cent and Coal India 1.14 per cent.

Tata Power shot up by 4.12 per cent, ONGC 1.07 per cent and HUL 0.73 per cent."Markets are now keenly awaiting inflation, IIP and manufacturing data which is scheduled to be declared tomorrow for taking cues for further direction of the market," said Jignesh Chaudhary, Head Of Research, Veracity Broking Services. 

Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, metal dropped by 3.44 per cent, followed by healthcare 0.99 per cent, Auto 0.64 per cent, consumer goods  0.64 per cent and Bankex 0.51 per cent while realty rose by 2.24 per cent and power 0.69 per cent.

Total market breadth turned negative as 1,546 stocks closed in the red, while 1,248 concluded in the green. Total turnover dropped to Rs 2,696.52 crore from Rs 3,008.67 crore yesterday.

Market players attributed the initial firmness to sustained buying by foreign funds which injected Rs 1,253.65 crore yesterday, as per provisional data with stock exchanges.

Asian stocks closed slightly better. Key indices in China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Japan were up between 0.02 per cent and 0.69 per cent.

European markets closed mixed with downward bias. The CAC was down by 0.35 per cent and the FTSE by 0.16 per cent while the DAX was up by 0.20 per cent. 
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