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Late sell-off drags Sensex into red for 5th straight day


Mumbai: After rising over 260 points, benchmark Sensex erased all gains and settled 30 points down today to over nine-week low of 28,161.72 on fag-end selling in auto, banking and IT shares.

Losses in Tata Motors, HDFC Bank and Infosys weighed on markets, which fell for the fifth straight session.

Stock brokers said besides caution ahead of March expiry in the derivatives segment on Thursday, selling by mutual funds to meet redemption pressure in view of ending financial year 2014-15 also dampened trading sentiment.

In a highly volatile trade, the 30-share index rose to the day’s high of 28,455.32 points on the back of recovery in selective bluechip stocks. However, a late sell-off pushed the index to the day’s low of 28,130.09 before settling 30.30 points, or 0.11 per cent, down at over 9-week low 28,161.72.

The gauge has now lost 574.66 points in the five sessions.

On similar lines, the 50-share NSE Nifty ended with a loss of 7.95 points, or 0.09 per cent, to settle at 8,542.95 after trading between 8,627.75 and 8,535.85.

Tata Motors suffered the most among Sensex stocks by plunging 3.27 per cent ahead of company’s board meet tomorrow to consider rights issue.

Other laggards include Hindalco, Hindustan Unilever, SBI, Tata Steel, Hero MotoCorp, ICICI Bank and TCS.

Among the 30 Sensex constituents, 16 scrips, including Bharti Airtel, GAIL, NTPC and Sesa Sterlite, gained.

Pharma stocks attracted buyers’ attention after Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy got approval from the CCI for sale of seven brands to Emcure Pharma to comply with the fair trade watchdog’s conditional nod for their USD 4-billion merger. Sun Pharma rose 1.55 per cent. Dr Reddy’s and Cipla too rose.

Shares of Jindal Steel and Power recovered by 1.20 per cent after Delhi High Court yesterday directed the Centre to maintain status quo on a Chhattisgarh mine, the bid for which by the company had been cancelled by the government.

Sectorwise, the BSE Auto index suffered the most by losing 1.17 per cent, followed by Banking index (0.61 per cent), IT index (0.50 pc), Realty index (0.40 pc) and FMCG (0.30 pc).

Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 417.41 crore and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 403.91 crore yesterday as per provisional data.

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