The BSE Sensex today gave up initial gains to end lower by 252 points, logging its biggest drop since November 21, on late profit-taking in bluechips, including ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries (RIL), ITC Ltd and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) amid mixed global cues after disappointing Chinese data.
Selling was widespread with realty, capital goods, power and banking being among the worst hit. The IT sector, which earns most revenues in dollar, escaped unscathed as the rupee slipped below the 62-mark against the US currency.
Falling for the second day in a row this calendar year, the BSE Sensex
closed at 20,888.33, down 252.15 points, or 1.19 per cent after surging about 190 points intra-day to touch 21,331.32. Yesterday, it had slipped by 30.20 points.
On November 21, 2013, the BSE Sensex had slid 406.08 points.
Brokers said investors were seen booking profits after BSE Sensex rose by around 9 per cent in 2013 as recent economic data brought back the haze over domestic outlook, while global growth indicators still appear shaky.
Data yesterday showed China's Purchasing Managers' Index slipped to a 4-month low in December, while another report today indicated that manufacturing rose at a slow pace.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index NSE Nifty dropped by 80.50 points, or 1.28 per cent, to end at 6,221.15, after climbing to 6,358.30 at the outset.
Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, closed at 12,435.29, down 142.23 points.
The BSE Realty sector index fell the most by losing 3.07 per cent, followed by Capital Goods index (2.84 per cent), Power index (2.09 per cent) and Banking index (1.82 per cent).
In Asia, Kospi and Shanghai Composite fell while Nikkei, Strait Times and Hang Seng rose. However, FTSE, CAC and DAX indices in Europe were trading lower in afternoon trade.
Sanjeev Zarbade, Vice President- Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities:
US and European markets were closed yesterday and hence, there were no major global cues for today. Asian markets were also trading mixed. The Indian markets opened in the positive however after pulling through a strong session till afternoon, the markets sold