Equity indices retreat from new intra-day highs on profit booking

Equity indices retreat from new intra-day highs on profit booking

Mumbai, Dec 20 (IANS) Breaking a four-day winning streak, key indices of the domestic equity markets closed on a lower note on Wednesday as weak global cues, coupled with heavy selling pressure in banking and auto stocks and huge outflow of foreign funds, hampered investors' risk-taking appetite.

The key equity indices recorded fresh intra-day highs before entering into the negative territory as profit-booking grabbed the gains.

According to market observers, investors traded with caution ahead of the release of the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee meet minutes after market hours.

"Markets ended lower on Wednesday after four sessions of gains. Selling emerged after the markets hit a record high," Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

"Weak global cues played a role in the negative sentiments," Jasani added.

On an intra-day basis, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE touched a record high of 33,956.31 points, surpassing its previous high of 33,865.95 points recorded on November 7.

The BSE Sensex closed at 33,777.38 points -- down 59.36 points or 0.18 per cent -- from its Tuesday's record closing of 33,836.74 points.

However, the BSE market breadth was bullish as 1,577 stocks advanced as compared with 1,127 declines.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed lower by 19 points or 0.18 per cent at 10,444.20 points.

During the day's trade, the NSE Nifty50 edged higher to a new intra-day level of 10,494.45 points, crossing its previous intra-day high of 10,490.45 points on November 6.

"Equity markets recovered from negative opening. However, post mid-session, there was profit taking by domestic institutions in state-run banking stocks," Anita Gandhi, Whole Time Director, Arihant Capital Markets, told IANS.

"However, a lot of interest continued in mid-cap stocks. PNB (Punjab National Bank) also saw huge activity after QIP (qualified institutional placement) rate announcement," Gandhi said.

In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index was up by 0.36 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.79 per cent.

Sector-wise, the BSE S&P banking index fell by 99.11 points, followed by auto index by 80.65 points and finance index by 23.93 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE capital goods index rose by 118.84 points, metal index by 107.37 points and realty index by 72.65 points.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: "Market moved in a tepid manner after recording the all-time high, with investors turning jittery ahead of the RBI minutes."

"The market is gradually pricing the positive aura generated on the political front, going forward valuation and transition of reforms into earnings as key catalysts to fuel the market sentiment," he added.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by eight paise to close at 64.11 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.03.

Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips valued at Rs 1,505.04 crore while domestic institutional investors purchased stocks valued at Rs 146.17 crore.

Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Tata Motors (DVR), up 2.24 per cent at Rs 237.70; Wipro, up 1.54 per cent at Rs 296.65; ONGC, up 1.46 per cent at Rs 187.90; Hero MotoCorp, up 1.18 per cent at Rs 3,740.60; and larsen and Toubro, up 1.06 per cent at Rs 1,230.15.

Major Sensex losers were: Dr Reddy's lab, down 1.80 per cent at Rs 2,356.45; Bharti Airtel, down 1.45 per cent at Rs 528.60; Tata Steel, down 1.09 per cent at Rs 702.55; HDFC, down 0.98 per cent at Rs 1,692.90; and HDFC Bank, down 0.91 per cent at Rs 1,868.05.

--IANS

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