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Hit by profit-booking in ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries shares, the BSE benchmark Sensex today fell by 110 points to close at two-week low of 19,894.98 amid cautious trading on monthly expiry of derivative products.
Mixed global cues with a downward bias after the US Commerce Department yesterday surprised market by declaring contraction in the US economy for the fourth quarter also weighed on the domestic market sentiment, said brokers.
The BSE 30-share barometer initially touched a high of 20,008.83 but later fell back and remained in negative zone for the rest of the day. It concluded at 19,894.98, a fall of 110.02 points or 0.55 per cent.
Similarly, the NSE 50-issue Nifty also declined by 21.00 points or 0.35 per cent to close at 6,034.75.
Banks, mainly from private sector, and refinery stocks fell on selling while realty and PSU shares saw rise.
ICICI Bank fell 1.93 per cent after profit-booking set in after the private sector bank posted over 30 per cent growth in December quarter profit. HDFC Bank scrip lost 1.87 percent.
Reliance Industries fell 1.39 per cent after the first meeting of the newly formed Cabinet Committee on Investment yesterday failed to break the logjam over defence clearances to oil and gas activities in 39 offshore areas, including RIL's producing KG-D6 fields.
Tata Power was the biggest loser in Sensex with a fall of 2.17 per cent. L&T, Bharti Airtel and HUL also ended lower.
However, ITC was in keen demand with a rise of 1.25 per cent. Alongwith ITC, rise in Bhel, Sun Pharma, Hero MotoCorp and CIL cushioned the Sensex fall to some extent.
"The broader indices did see some profit booking on the F&O expiry. However, stock specific activity was vivid," said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, Inventure Growth & Securities.
PSU banks hogged limelight in the Nifty space as PNB showed improvement in asset quality. The stock ended over 9.37 per cent while Union Bank gained nearly 6 per cent.
Jet Airways shares surged 4.4 per cent on hopes of a deal with Etihad soon, said dealers.
Analysts said consolidation was being seen near 20,000-mark for Sensex and 6,100-level for Nifty.
"As 6100 is an important resistance level in near term, Nifty may be seen consolidating in coming sessions," said Nidhi Sarswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.
Globally, Asian stocks closed narrowly mixed with downward bias after US Federal Reserve meeting did not throw up any positive surprise yesterday.
Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea closed with losses while those from China, Japan and Taiwan finished with small gains.
However, European markets were quoting lower in their afternoon deals. The CAC was down by 0.62 per cent, the DAX by 0.24 per cent and the FTSE by 0.50 per cent.
Back home, 19 out of 30 sensex-based scrips closed with gains while others finished with losses. Tata Power dipped by 2.17 per cent, ICICI Bank 1.93 per cent, HDFC Bank 1.87 per cent, Bharti Airtel 1.52 per cent, RIL 1.39 per cent, HDFC 1.37 per cent, L&T 1.35 per cent, Maruti Suzuki 1.21 per cent, Jindal Steel 1.16 per cent and HUL 1.0 per cent.
However, gainers included BHEL (2.36 per cent), Sun Pharma (1.33 per cent), Hero MotoCorp (1.31 per cent) and Gail India (1.03 per cent).
From sectoral indices, the BSE-Bankex declined by 0.42 per cent and BSE-Oil&Gas by 0.42 per cent while BSE-Realty rose by 1.38 per cent and BSE-PSU by 1.02 per cent.
Despite fall in the Sensex and Nifty, he market breadth was almost stable following good buying in second-line stocks as 1,066 stocks closed with losses while 1,093 ended with gains. 791 scrips finished stable.
The total turnover was higher at Rs 2,377.98 crore from Rs 2,074.56 crore yesterday.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth Rs 906.36 crore yesterday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
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