Sensex off record highs; shares of oil firms plunge

Sensex off record highs; shares of oil firms plunge

Snapping its three-day rally, the benchmark BSE Sensex today retreated from record highs to end over 68 points lower at 27,940.64 as the shares of state-owned oil companies fell as much as 6 per cent after the government hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel.

The 30-share Sensex commenced on a strong note and soared to the day's high of 28,098.74 on positive inflation and factory output data announced yesterday.

However, it succumbed to profit-booking and dipped below the 28,000-mark to hit the day's low of 27,822.70 before recovering partially to settle at 27,940.64, down by 68.26 points or 0.24 per cent.

Yesterday, the benchmark index had ended at an all-time closing high of 28,008.90 and also hit intra-day high of 28,126.48 on sustained foreign funds inflows driven by economic reforms undertaken by the government recently.

The 50-scrip NSE Nifty ended 25.45 points, or 0.30 per cent, down at 8,357.85 after shuttling between 8,408.00 and 8,320.35.

The gauge yesterday concluded at record 8,383.30 after scaling a lifetime (intra-day) high of 8,415.05.

Meanwhile, country's industrial production grew at 2.5 per cent in September and retail inflation eased to 5.52 per cent in October from 6.46 per cent in September, according to data released after market hours yesterday.

Besides profit-booking in blue-chip stocks, sentiments also dampened after the government hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel prices by Rs 1.50 a litre each to mop up an additional Rs 13,000 crore in revenue.

Stocks of state-run companies such as BPCL, HPCL and Indian Oil Corp came under selling pressure and ended up to 6.11 per cent lower.

ONGC was among the biggest Sensex losers, plunging by 2.03 per cent, while RIL fell by 0.53 per cent.

Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 459.47 crore yesterday, according to provisional data from the stock exchanges.

Brokers said the market was in an over-bought position and participants adopted a cautious stance and preferred to lighten some positions by booking profits at record levels.

Selling was more pronounced in realty, PSU, metal, infrastructure, banking, power and auto stocks, which dragged down the key indices - Sensex and Nifty - from record highs.

Sesa Sterlite down by 2.50 per cent, Tata Power shed 2.47 per cent, GAIL fell 1.58 per cent, Axis Bank down 1.49 per cent, Hero MotoCorp by 1.38 per cent and HDFC by 1.14 per cent.

Bucking the trend, Infosys surged 1.77 per cent, Dr Reddy by 1.01 per cent, Cipla 0.91 per cent, Wipro 0.69 per cent, Bharti airtel 0.68 and Bajaj Auto 0.54 per cent and averted any major fall in the Sensex.

Among Sensex components, 16 stocks ended in negative territory, while 14 closed higher.

Sectorwise, BSE Oil & Gas index suffered the most by falling 1.63 per cent, followed by Realty index (1.44 pc), PSU index (1.32 pc), Infrastructure index (0.78 pc) Metal index (0.76 pc), Banking index (0.71 per cent), Power index (0.44 pc) and Auto index (0.39 pc).

Towards the global markets, trend on the other Asian markets remained firm and European markets opened higher, rebounding from yesterday's biggest drop in four weeks.

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