Sensex slides 134 points as blue-chips fail to make the cut

Sensex may have been off to a solid start Thursday, but in the end, let go of all the gains and ended the day 134 points down as blue-chips Bajaj Auto and Lupin took a beating post their quarterly earnings and profit-booking kicked in.

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex may have been off to a solid start Thursday, but in the end, let go of all the gains and ended the day 134 points down as blue-chips Bajaj Auto and Lupin took a beating post their quarterly earnings and profit-booking kicked in.

For most part of the session, the market traded in a thin range.

June quarter numbers from other companies too remained off-colour, which clouded the sentiment.

On top of it, rupee's fall against the dollar made investors cautious.

The 30-share Sensex started on a firmer footing at 28,540.97, hitting the day's high of 28,578.33 on hopes of passage of the key GST Bill and stronger Asian markets.

But in a reversal of fortunes, selling pressure built up in afternoon trade as the index closed the session lower by 134.09 points, or 0.47 percent, at 28,370.84.

Of the 30-share index, 18 ended in the red.

Even the NSE Nifty closed shy of the 8,600 level, down 43.70 points, or 0.51 percent, at 8,589.80. Intra-day, it shuttled between 8,654.75 and 8,573.80.

Lupin was the big loser. The scrip fell 5.23 percent after the drug maker reported a 16 percent drop in consolidated net profit at Rs 525.02 crore for the June quarter.

Bajaj Auto too felt the heat, down 5.02 percent, after its earnings numbers fell short of the crease despite a 37.14 percent rise in standalone net profit.

RIL was in the same boat, down 0.46 percent, in a cautious trade ahead of its earnings announcement tomorrow.

Sector-wise, technology fell the most followed by banking, capital goods, IT and healthcare.
European stocks were trading in the positive terrain while in Asia, key indices ended higher.

"The market closed negatively after trading sideways to negative during the day due to lack of fresh triggers. Investors remained on the sidelines in the absence of a positive surprise from the quarterly earnings," said Alex Mathews, Head Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

BSE small-cap was up 0.51 percent while mid-cap closed lower by 0.16 percent.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 450.32 crore yesterday while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) turned net sellers at Rs 351.77 crore, provisional data showed.

Pramit Brahmbhatt, Veracity Group CEO, said: "Investors preferred to book profit at higher levels as they doubted the further upside in the market. Now, the investors are waiting for the release of US unemployment data due for the day."

The market breadth stayed positive as 1,531 stocks ended higher, 1,311 lower while 126 ruled steady. Total turnover rose to Rs 3,402.78 crore, from Rs 2,925.66 crore yesterday.

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