Investors play a safe game, Sensex ends lower by 43 points

Retreating from a three-month high last week, the benchmark BSE Sensex ended the day 43 points lower at 28,420.12 as investors took a cautious line ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament beginning tomorrow and a likely lacklustre earnings show.

Mumbai: Retreating from a three-month high last week, the benchmark BSE Sensex ended the day 43 points lower at 28,420.12 as investors took a cautious line ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament beginning tomorrow and a likely lacklustre earnings show.

"Markets witnessed a sharp slide, but recovered during the late trade with Nifty reclaiming the 8,600 level. Investors seem to await the outcome of Parliament?s monsoon session and corporate earnings with big names like HDFC Bank, Infosys, Hindustan Unilever results scheduled tomorrow," said Gaurav Jain, Director, Hem Securities.

Some key Bills such as land acquisition and goods and services tax (GST) are expected to be presented in Parliament.

Mixed Asian cues didn't help.

Investors concerned by the fate of land and GST Bills stayed away from blue-chips and booked profits, but the 30-share Sensex managed to recover smartly in the afternoon session, limiting its earlier losses.

Heavyweights including Infosys and RIL are set to release their earnings numbers this week, which influenced sentiment.

The benchmark index resumed higher at 28,544.28 on initial buying activity, but slumped to 28,319.83 on selling pressure. Some late-session buying at select counters on the back of higher European cues contained further damage, with the gauge settling at 28,420.12, down 43.19 points, or 0.15 percent.

The 50-share Nifty eased 6.40 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 8,603.45 after shuttling between 8,624.10 and 8,559.

As many as 19 stocks ended in the red while 11 others finished higher.

Tata Motors lost big-time, down 1.89 percent. Vedanta, SBI, HUL, BHEL, Coal India and HDFC suffered heavy losses, too.

Sectorally, realty fell 1.92 percent, joined by oil & gas, metal and power.

The broader markets, however, saw some sustained buying interest. The BSE small-cap rose 0.40 percent and mid-cap ended higher by 0.27 percent.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 605.56 crore during the previous trading session last Friday, according to provisional exchange data.

Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) net sold shares worth Rs 175.15 crore.

Riskier assets, including gold, were on the backfoot as the dollar firmed up amid mounting expectations of a US rate hike.

Overseas, European stocks were trading higher while Asian stocks ended mixed today. US stocks closed mixed last Friday, but posted solid gains for the week as strong earnings boosted Nasdaq to another record high.

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