ITC, HUL drag Sensex down 286 points to 2-week low of 19,804

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty tumbled by 83 points, or 1.39 percent to 5,907.50.

Last Updated: Jul 25, 2013, 20:54 PM IST

Mumbai: Dragged down by losses in stocks of FMCG giants ITC and HUL, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex on Thursday dropped 286 points to end below the 20K-mark at a two-week low of 19,804.76.

The 30-share Sensex initially touched a high of 20,110.81 and subsequently declined to settle at 19,804.76, a loss of 285.92 points or 1.42 percent, adding to yesterday's fall of 1.04 percent. Amid weak global cues, investors adopted a cautious stance on the expiry of monthly derivatives.

The 50-stock CNX Nifty index on the National Stock Exchange tumbled 1.39 percent to 5,907.50. The SX40 index on the MCX-SX fell 1.33 percent to 11,829.16.

"Market continued its downward slide today partially fuelled by negative global cues as the Dow and S&P 500 had finished in negative territory," said Sanjeev Zarbade, vice president - private client group research at Kotak Securities. "It was also expiry day for Indian derivatives."

ITC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, with a fall of 4.57 percent, after the company today reported Q1 net profit rose 18.05 percent and net sales increased 10.31 percent to Rs 7,338.52 crore.

"ITC was down by over 4 percent post its Q1 results," said Nidhi Saraswat, a senior research analyst at Bonanza Portfolio. "However, sales numbers missed market estimates."

FMCG major Hindustan Unilever declined 3.21 percent ahead of Q1 results tomorrow. ITC and HUL together contributed 140 points to the Sensex fall.

Other index shares that fell included RIL, ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma, HDFC Bank, L&T, Wipro, M&M, ONGC, Tata Power, Tata Steel, BHEL, Dr Reddy's Lab, Cipla, Sterlite Ind, Coal India and Hindalco.

In all, 11 of the 13 sectoral indices closed with losses, led by FMCG (3.33 percent), metal, healthcare and oil and gas segments.

Only five of the 30 shares on the benchmark index gained.