Sensex closes below 20,000-level; falls 110 points
Mumbai: Hit by profit-booking in ICICI, HDFC Bank and RIL shares, the BSE benchmark Sensex Thursday 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 on Wednesday 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 percent.
Similarly, the NSE 50-issue Nifty also declined by 21.00 points or 0.35 percent 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 percent after profit-booking set in after the private sector bank posted over 30 percent growth in December quarter profit. HDFC Bank scrip lost 1.87 percent.
Reliance Industries fell 1.39 percent 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 percent. L&T, Bharti Airtel and HUL also ended lower.
However, ITC was in keen demand with a rise of 1.25 percent. 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 percent while Union Bank gained nearly 6 percent.
Jet Airways shares surged 4.4 percent 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 percent, the DAX by 0.24 percent and the FTSE by 0.50 percent.
Back home, 19 out of 30 sensex-based scrips closed with gains while others finished with losses. Tata Power dipped by 2.17 percent, ICICI Bank 1.93 percent, HDFC Bank 1.87 percent, Bharti Airtel 1.52 percent, RIL 1.39 percent, HDFC 1.37 percent, L&T 1.35 percent, Maruti Suzuki 1.21 percent, Jindal Steel 1.16 percent and HUL 1.0 percent.
However, gainers included BHEL (2.36 percent), Sun Pharma (1.33 percent), Hero MotoCorp (1.31 percent) and Gail India (1.03 percent).
From sectoral indices, the BSE-Bankex declined by 0.42 percent and BSE-Oil&Gas by 0.42 percent while BSE-Realty rose by 1.38 percent and BSE-PSU by 1.02 percent.
Despite fall in the Sensex and Nifty, the 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 on Wednesday.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth Rs 906.36 crore Wednesday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.