Bucking a positive global trend, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday closed nearly 94 points lower at 19,323.80 on fag-end selling due to growth concerns, amid expiry of December futures contract.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer initially touched a high of 19,504.40, but succumbed to heavy selling at the end of the session to close at 19,323.80 — a fall of 93.66 points or 0.48%. The index snapped a two-session gaining string.
Fall in stocks like RIL, ICICI Bank, Infosys, HDFC, ITC, M&M, TCS and HUL mainly weighed on the market, which took out nearly 90 points from the Sensex.
“Profit-booking was seen in some of the stocks like Reliance, M&M, HUL and BHEL, and others kept the index under pressure. Investors rolled their positions as it was Futures and Options (F&O) expiry day," said Rakesh Goyal, senior vice-president, Bonanza Portfolio.
Traders said selling pressure in Indian stocks rose after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in New Delhi that India faces many challenges to achieve sustainable growth.
Describing the current economic situation as difficult, he hinted at tough decisions like hike in energy prices and reduction of subsidies to achieve 8% growth target in the 12th Five Year Plan.
The broad-based S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE also declined 35.50 points or 0.60% to close at 5,870.10. Overall, the market breadth was negative as 1,664 stocks ended lower, while 1,228 scrips settled with gains.
The domestic market did not move in line with Asian markets, barring Shanghai, that gained in the 0.1-1.1% range. European markets were also trading 0.2-0.4% higher in afternoon trades.