Sensex at week's low; down 133 pts on weak global markets

Sensex at week's low; down 133 pts on weak global markets Mumbai: The BSE Sensex fell to one-week low of 18,625.34, down 133.29 points, pulled down by RIL, ICICI Bank, HUL and ITC as investors booked profits ahead of next week's RBI monetary policy amid mixed corporate quarterly results and weak trends in global equities.

While ICICI Bank and HUL logged in profits for the July-September quarter of the current fiscal, Punjab National Bank and GAIL reported weaker earnings.

In all, 12 of the 13 sectoral indices closed with losses of between 0.22 percent and 2.84 percent; only auto index gained 0.81 percent on hopes of higher sales this festive season.

Fresh offloading by FIIs also aided the downtrend. FIIs sold shares worth Rs 551.34 crore yesterday as per provisional data with the stock exchanges.

The BSE 30-stock index, Sensex, resumed lower on weak Asian cues and remained in the negative terrain throughout the day. The trend was aided by sluggish openings in the European equities. It closed at over one-week low of 18,625.34, a fall of 133.29 points or 0.71 percent.

Similarly, the NSE 50-issue index, Nifty, dipped by 41 points or 0.72 percent to over one-week low of 5,664.30.

Barring Singapore, which was closed today, other Asian markets finished with marked losses amid weak quarterly earnings by corporates in the region.

Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea were down between 1.21 percent and 1.76 percent. European stocks too were trading weak in the afternoon deals on concerns over corporate earnings.

Meanwhile, investors were also waiting for the US growth data due later. Standard & Poor's reportedly downgraded BNP Paribas SA and other 10 France banks which also kept market under pressure.

The CAC (France) was down by 0.54 percent, the DAX (Germany) by 0.43 percent and the FTSE (UK) by 0.61 percent.

Back home, ICICI Bank's net profit was up 20 percent at Rs 2,390.37 crore in the second quarter of current fiscal. PNB net profit however, was down by 11.6 percent to Rs 1,065.58 crore. State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd also reported 10 percent drop in net profit at Rs 984 crore on the back of higher fuel subsidy outgo as well as fall in gas transmission volumes. However, HUL Q2 net profit was up 17 percent at Rs 807 crore.

Overall, 22 of the 30 Sensex companies closed with losses. HUL was the top loser with a fall of 2.14 percent, followed by ITC (2 percent), Cipla (1.84 percent), Dr Reddy's Lab (1.59 percent), RIL (1.39 percent), Sun Pharma (1.38 percent), SBI (1.30 percent), Bharti Airtel (1.24 percent), Wipro (1.10 percent), HDFC (1.05 percent), Hindalco (0.88 percent), ONGC (0.83 percent), ICICI Bank (0.73 percent) and Infosys (0.69 percent).

However, M&M rose by 2.57 percent, Bajaj Auto - 1.72 percent, Hero MotoCorp - 1.68 percent and GAIL India - 0.83 percentt.

Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Consumer Durables tumbled by 2.84 percent, BSE-FMCG - 1.78 percent, BSE-Healthcare - 1.20 percent, BSE-PSU - 1.15 percent, BSE-Power - 1.06 percent, Bankex - 0.92 percent, BSE-Realty - 0.90 percent and BSE-Oil&Gas - 0.90 percent.

The overall market breadth was negative as 1,801 stocks ended with losses, while 1,030 settled with gains. The total turnover dropped to Rs 1,951.04 crore from Rs 2,542.72 crore yesterday.

PTI