Sensex lacks spark, trips 19 points after a better start

Mumbai :The markets today fell for the second consecutive day despite a promising start and saw all its early gains wiped off as the benchmark BSE Sensex lost over 19 points after players chose to book profits.

A sharp correction in Chinese equities rekindled global risk aversion, with Shanghai Composite tumbling over 3 per cent after rising strongly in recent weeks, which hit sentiment here.

Brokers said that apart from profit-booking in blue-chips after recent gains, caution ahead of earnings announcement from key corporates and further weakening of the rupee against the dollar took its toll.

Resuming higher, the Sensex touched the session’s high of 27,445.24 on the back of sustained capital inflows and encouraging Q2 earnings by Hero MotoCorp.

However, the index failed to hold onto gains towards the middle of the session and slumped to a low of 27,190.55 before ending at 27,287.66, a fall of 19.17 points, or 0.07 per cent.

The gauge had lost 58.09 points in the previous volatile session.

The 50-share NSE Nifty remained lacklustre too, which dropped 9.95 points, or 0.12 per cent, to close the day at 8,251.70. Intra-day, it shuttled between 8,294.40 and 8,217.15.

Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 13 closed in the red and 17 finished higher.

“Domestic markets slipped after a positive opening largely due to a steep fall in Chinese markets and profit-booking in recent gainers”, said Manoj Choraria, a Delhi-based stock broker.

In the Sensex kitty, Dr Reddy’s was the worst-hit, down 3.30 per cent, followed by SBI (1.87 per cent).

Shares of HDFC Bank fell 0.03 per cent despite the lender posting 20.5 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 2,869.5 crore for the September quarter.

Others which lost are BHEL, GAIL, L&T, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Lupin, Tata Motors and RIL.

Vedanta Ltd, Tata Steel, Hindalco, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, NTPC, Infosys, Wipro and M&M were some of the bright spots though, which averted any further damage.

Hero MotoCorp rallied 0.54 per cent after company posted 1.13 per cent rise in standalone net profit at Rs 772.06 crore for the second quarter ended September.

Sector-wise, the BSE realty index took the biggest blow, down 1.79 per cent, followed by capital goods, healthcare, banking, oil & gas, PSU and power.

In broader markets, mid-cap and small-cap indices fell up to 0.37 per cent as investors booked profits.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 523.69 crore yesterday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.

Stock exchanges will remain closed tomorrow on account of Dussehra festival.

Globally, Asian shares closed mixed, with the Shanghai index plunging 3.06 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei ended 1.91 per cent higher.

European stocks were little changed in their early trade.