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Sensex faces earnings pinch, logs 1st weekly drop in three


 Mumbai : The benchmark Sensex today moved sideways for the most part and ended little changed at 25,607, breaking its two-week winning streak, as muted earnings weighed heavy on gains in oil stocks.

May series derivatives contracts got off to a better start, which contributed to the upside. Pharma, power and PSU stocks stayed in the limelight.

On a weekly basis, the BSE Sensex ended 231.52 points, or 0.89 per cent down, while NSE Nifty fell 49.50 points, or 0.62 per cent.

Selective buying towards the fag end on the first day of the May series of derivatives contracts, mainly helped the key indices close in the positive zone, though with minor upward changes.

After resuming higher, the Sensex swung between gains and losses before settling 3.52 points, or 0.01 per cent higher at 25,606.62 points.

The index had lost 461.02 points in the last session after BOJ took investors by surprise by deciding against fresh stimulus and April F&O expiry.

On similar lines, the broader Nifty ended higher by 2.55 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 7,849.80 after trading between 7,889.05 and 7,788.70.

Brokers said fresh positions built up by participants following beginning of May series in the derivatives segment helped trading sentiment improve.

However, disappointing Q4 earnings by top private lender ICICI Bank came as a spoiler.

ICICI Bank shares ended 1.48 per cent lower after the company today reported 75.97 per cent decline in standalone net profit for the fourth quarter ended March.

HCL Technologies tanked 6.19 per cent after its quarterly show.

Shares of telecom operator Idea Cellular tumbled 6.52 per cent after the company’s net profit declined 39 per cent in the March quarter.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.50 per cent while Shanghai Composite shed 0.25 per cent. Japanese financial markets were closed today for a public holiday.

European markets too slid in early deals as losses in US equities weighed on sentiment.

In the 30-Sensex constituents, Lupin gained the most by surging 1.94 per cent, followed by Cipla (1.89 per cent).

Shares of cement makers such as ACC and Ambuja Cement were back in demand as they gained 0.34 per cent and 0.30 per cent respectively, triggered by an increase in cement sales in the March quarter.

Foreign portfolio investors net bought shares worth Rs 120.63 crore yesterday, provisional data showed.

In the 30-share Sensex constituents, 17 ended higher and 12 lower, while Hero MotoCorp ended flat.

In the sectoral indices, the BSE realty gained the most by rising 1.18 per cent, followed by power by 0.93 per cent, healthcare by 0.76 per cent, metal 0.51 per cent, oil&gas 0.39 per cent and banking 0.33 per cent.

The mid-cap index ended 0.22 per cent higher but small-cap index shed 0.05 per cent.

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