Sensex slumps 102 points on profit-booking, weak overseas cues

The benchmark Sensex fell almost 102 points and the NSE Nifty cracked below the 7,700-level in early trade today as investors booked profit in recent gainers amid weak Asian cues. Caution in view of a long weekend dominated sentiment as markets will remain closed tomorrow and Friday on account of ‘Holi’ and ‘Good Friday’, respectively.

The 30-share barometer declined 101.74 points, or 0.40 per cent, to 25,228.75, with sectoral indices of banking, healthcare, consumer durables, capital goods and IT losing steam.

The index had risen over 653 points in the previous three sessions.

Also, the NSE Nifty slipped below the crucial 7,700-mark by falling 19.80 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 7,695.10.

Brokers said a sluggish trend at other Asian markets tracking overnight losses in the US after yesterday’s deadly terror attacks in Brussels was mainly responsible for a break in the 3-session long rising streak.

Shares of Lupin, HDFC Ltd, NTPC, ICICI Bank, RIL, Sun Pharma, SBI, HDFC Bank, ITC Ltd, Cipla, Hindustan Unilever, L&T and Dr Reddy’s succumbed to profit-booking, which dragged down the indices.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was quoting 0.26 per cent lower while Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.04 per cent in early trade. Shanghai Composite was also down 0.31 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.23 per cent lower in yesterday’s trade.