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Sensex back to square one, down 145 pts on fresh selling

Mumbai :In a complete U-turn, the benchmark Sensex let go of the previous session’s gains as it lost by over 145 points today to close at 25,590.65 after investors booked profit amid mixed leads overseas.

The NSE Nifty was no better, which broke below the 7,800-mark as IT, metal, FMCG and automakers led the fall.

Weighed down by fresh selling, the BSE Sensex remained in a range-bound before ending the day lower by 145.25 points, or 0.56 per cent, at 25,590.65.

The gauge had gained 216.68 points in yesterday’s trade on hopes that Parliament will manage to pass the crucial bankruptcy Bill.

The NSE Nifty after slipping below the 7,800-level closed at 7,786.10, down 48.35 points, or 0.62 per cent.

Investors avoided building their bets in a holiday-shortened week as markets will remain closed on Friday on account of Christmas and an approaching monthly derivative expiry next Thursday (December 31).

“Indices started the day with a cautious note and lost its shine due to selling pressure and weak global cues. Continued selling by foreign portfolio investors and fall in crude oil prices has dampened sentiment,” said Gaurav Jain, Director, Hem Securities.

Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 20 lost and 10 gained. Stocks of IT exporters took a big blow after the US

Congress imposed a special outsourcing fee of up to USD 4,500 on H-1B and L-1 visas to fund a 9/11 healthcare Act and biometric tracking system.

Infosys, TCS and Wipro all fell by up to 1.67 per cent, dragging down the BSE IT index by 1.15 per cent. ITC Ltd, M&M, Adani Ports, Lupin, SBI, Hero MotoCorp and L&T suffered losses too.

Breaking from the crowd, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paint, GAIL and ICICI Bank advanced.

Reliance Communications closed 2.39 per cent up after the company said it’s in talks with shareholders of Aircel for a potential merger of their wireless businesses.

In broader markets, the BSE mid-cap index edged lower by 0.31 per cent while small-cap shed 0.02 per cent.

On the global front, Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.26 per cent after China’s leaders signalled taking further steps to support growth. European indices rebounded in early trade.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 37.37 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.