Sensex fails to step up, slips 119 pts on profit-booking

Sensex fails to step up, slips 119 pts on profit-booking

Sensex fails to step up, slips 119 pts on profit-booking

The early momentum of the market fizzled out today as the benchmark Sensex fell over 119 points to end below the key 26,000-mark, hurt by profit-booking amid mixed overseas leads.

The NSE Nifty too struggled and settled below the 7,900-level.

Earlier on, covering-up of short positions propped up the market. But then, the Sensex succumbed to profit-booking and ended below the 26,000-level at 25,960.03, down 119.45 points, or 0.46 per cent. It had gained 240.77 points in the previous two sessions.

The Nifty closed down by 32.70 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 7,896.25.

Caution prevailed ahead of the expiry of December monthly derivatives contracts on Thursday, which weighed on mood.

Sentiment took a hit after IMF chief Christine Lagarde wrote in a guest article in a German newspaper that global growth will be "disappointing and patchy" in 2016.

She pointed to the prospects of US Fed rate hike and slowdown in China as fuelling uncertainty and risk of global volatility.

"While improved US economic data increase the odds of yet another Fed rate hike, today's fall in Indian indices is more out of exhaustion, especially after consistent days of rise having taken prices high by over 5% from the mid month low of 7551.05 in Nifty," said Anand James, Co Head Technical Research Desk, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd.

A mixed trend in Asia, and European shares slipping from their three-week highs in early trade only compounded the woes.

The bear grip was so tight that as many as 21 stocks out of the 30 in the Sensex pack lost while others advanced.

Infosys was the worst hit as it plunged 1.52 per cent, followed by TCS (1.37 per cent) and SBI (1.18 per cent).

Maruti Suzuki, RIL, Hero MotoCorp, Adani Ports, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Auto, Axis Bank and L&T also ran up losses.

But Tata Steel, Tata Motors, NTPC, ITC, BHEL and Dr Reddy's all ended higher.

Stocks of liquor companies USL, UB, Empee Distilleries and Tilaknagar Industries felt the heat for the second day in a row as they fell up to 5.01 per cent after SC yesterday upheld the Kerala government's policy restricting issuance of bar licences to five-star hotels only.

The BSE IT index fell the most by 1.21 per cent followed by technology (0.77 per cent), oil and gas (0.56 per cent), banking (0.43 per cent), PSU (0.30 per cent), auto (0.30 per cent) and realty (0.17 per cent).

Broader markets left the Sensex far behind, with the mid-cap index rising 0.21 per cent and small-cap 0.07 per cent.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 8.49 crore yesterday, according to provisional data.

While major Asian stocks ended mixed, Europe was trending down in the afternoon trade. 

While key indices in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Koera and Taiwan fell by up to 0.53 per cent those in China and Japan moved up by up to 0.27 per cent.

"Fiscal deficit data scheduled for release for Thursday as well as near-month equity derivatives expiry also ensured that upmoves did not take flight," added James.

Investors are now looking forward to the second week of January for any signs of corporate recovery when IT bellwether Infosys is due to kick off the earnings season.

The market breadth was in the green as 1,385 stocks ended higher and 1,283 lower while 285 ruled steady, out of a total 2,953 stocks.

The total turnover, however, slumped to Rs 2,401.24 crore, from Rs 2,540.61 crore yesterday. 

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