Samvat 2068 ends on lower note, Sensex down 13 pts

Samvat 2068 ends on lower note, Sensex down 13 pts Mumbai: Samvat 2068 ended on a weak note as the BSE benchmark Sensex Monday declined by over 13 points on selling by funds concerned over sticky retail inflation, weak industrial output and record-high trade deficit.

The Sensex, which had lost 219 points in last two trading sessions, declined further by 13.34 points, or 0.07 percent to 18,670.34 as investors adjusted their portfolios ahead of a special 'Muhurat' trading on Diwali Tuesday, followed by a holiday on Wednesday.

In the 30-share Sensex, 19 stocks declined led by two most influential stocks, ITC and RIL that fell over 1 percent each. Tata Steel, which fell 1.93 percent, was the worst performer among the Sensex constituents.

The falling trend was, however, cushioned to some extent as HDFC Bank, SBI, TCS and Bharti Airtel logged 0.8-1.4 percent gains.

Meanwhile, non-index entity United Spirits surged the most in eight years by 34.93 percent to Rs 1,834.60 after Diageo agreed to buy a controlling stake last week.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty eased by 2.55 points, or 0.04 percent to close at 5,683.70 led by stocks of metal and capital goods sectors.

The sentiment remained bearish on the last day of Samvat 2068 on an unexpected contraction in September industrial output, marginally high consumer price index and trade deficit widening to an all-time high of USD 20.96 billion.

Industrial production declined by 0.4 percent in September, as against growth of 2.5 percent in the same month last year. Retail inflation rose marginally to 9.75 percent in October, from 9.73 percent in September.

Brokers said investors were seen rejigging their portfolios to prepare for the special 75-minute 'Muhurat' trading on Diwali between 1545 hrs and 1700 hrs to open their new accounts for the Samvat 2069.

A mixed trend in Asian region and lower opening in Europe on earning concerns further soured the market sentiment.

Sensex has rallied 21 percent this year, driven by heavy FII buying and government policy initiatives recently in a bid to revive economic growth.

PTI