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The BSE Sensex trimmed initial losses and was down 29 points in late morning trade on selling in banking, IT and realty sector stocks on the back of weak Asian cues even as investors bought capital goods and consumer durable shares.
The BSE Sensex opened at 20,913.79, compared with Friday's close of 20,851.33, on initial buying and then declined to 20,740.63 on selling pressure.
It recovered afterwards to 20,822.11 at 1030 hrs, still showing a loss of 29.22 points, or 0.14 per cent, from the previous closing level.
The NSE Nifty moved down 9.35 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 6,201.80 at 1030 hrs.
Foreign institutional investors sold shares worth a net Rs 18.06 crore on Friday, according to provisional data from the stock exchanges.
Most Asian stocks were lower as an index of China's services industry declined last month.
Key indices in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Japan fell, while those in Singapore and South Korea rose.
BSE Sensex fall again, foreign investors sell futures
(Reuters) India's benchmark BSE index is down 0.2 percent, while the NSE index falls 0.3 per cent, heading for a fourth consecutive day of decline. It would also mean domestic shares have retreated in each trading session of 2014.
Losses track lower Asian shares after growth in China's services sector slowed sharply last month, raising concerns about the pace of recovery in the world's second-largest economy.
Foreign institutional investors sold 6.08 billion rupees ($97.7 million) worth of index futures on Friday, dampening sentiment.
Overseas investors also sold shares worth 180 million rupees ($2.9 million) on Friday, provisional exchange data shows.
At home, the HSBC Services Purchasing Managers' Index , compiled by Markit, fell to 46.7 in December from 47.2 in November as new orders dwindled, although firms hired at their fastest pace in five months.
Traders are reducing positions ahead of