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The BSE Sensex today reversed early gains and slipped by 30.20 points, the first drop for the benchmark on the opening trading day in seven years, as. losses in Reliance Industries (RIL), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys outweighed gains in Bharti Airtel and Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries.
Traders said direction-less investors booked profits, amid most Asian financial markets remaining closed. US stocks yesterday powered to fresh peaks during 2013's last session.
After a better start at 21,222.19, the 30-share Sensex rolled back gains to close lower by 30.20 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 21,140.48 after 15 constituents closed down. On January 2 in 2006, Sensex had ended lower by 7.8 points.
Yesterday after market hours, government data showed India's fiscal deficit touched Rs 5,09,557 crore during April-November, or 93.9 per cent of the annual target.
Additionally, core sector growth slowed to 1.7 per cent in November from 5.8 per cent a year ago, dampening sentiment.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty today declined by 2.35 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 6,301.65, after touching an intra-day high of 6,327.20. Also, SX40 index of MCX Stock Exchange closed 5.17 points down at 12,577.52.
Two influential stocks with nearly 15 per cent weight on the BSE benchmark - Reliance Industries fell 0.68 per cent and Infosys slid 0.55 per cent. Other major losers were TCS, Wipro, Axis Bank, Axis Bank, Essel Propack Ltd, Tata Motors and Tata Power Ltd.
However, Bharti gained over 2 per cent and Sun Pharma nearly one per cent.
Sectorally, the BSE IT sector index suffered the most by losing 0.65 per cent, followed by Oil & Gas index (0.37 per cent) and Teck index (0.20 per cent).
Gains in stocks of realty, consumer durables, healthcare, metal, auto, banking and FMCG sectors saved the market from any major fall, analysts said.
BSE Sensex falls amid thin volumes; earnings, inflation key
(Reuters) Indian shares ended lower in a range bound session on Wednesday, the first trading day of 2014, as software stocks including Tata Consultancy Services fell on profit-taking.
Volumes on the benchmark BSE index remained thin, dropping for a second consecutive session with most global markets closed for New Year holidays.
The BSE index gained 8.9 Per cent in 2013, hitting a