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Sensex falls 170 pts ahead of derivatives expiry


Mumbai:  The benchmark BSE Sensex today fell by 170 points to 27,225.93, bogged down by heavy selling in heavyweights HDFC and Airtel on lower-than-expected earning numbers.

Ahead of April derivatives expiry tomorrow, the index was also bugged by persistent foreign fund outflows and delay in land acquisition bill, brokers said.

Shares of Bharti Airtel suffered the most among Sensex constituents by falling 3.32 per cent after company’s March quarter net profit failed to meet market expectations.

Airtel had reported a 30.5 per cent jump in its March quarter’s net profit at Rs 1,255 crore yesterday.

Meanwhile, HDFC today reported a 9.6 per cent increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 2,646.35 crore for the quarter ended March 31.

Caution prevailed as traders were seen reducing positions as the April contract is set to expire tomorrow.

The markets had yesterday rose by 219 points on a mix of good earning numbers from Maruti Suzuki and ICICI Bank.

The BSE 30-share index resumed a shade lower at 27,395.71 and slipped further to a low of 27,176.54. It recovered briefly to touch the session’s high of 27,438.96 on short-covering of positions in select bluechip stocks.

However, it succumbed to selling in late afternoon trade and finally settled at 27,225.93, a loss of 170.45 points or 0.62 per cent.

The 50-issue NSE Nifty also moved down by 45.85 points or 0.55 per cent to 8,239.75 after shuttling between 8.219.20 and 8,308.20 intra-day.

“Sentiments turned weak on continued selling as market is lacking any positive trigger,” said Manoj Choraria, a NSE stockbroker based in Delhi.

Besides, a weak closing at other Asian markets and lower openings in Europe ahead of the outcome of Federal Reserve two-day meet also cast a shadow here, they added.

Among the 30-Sensex constituents, 23 shares ended lower, while seven rose.

Sectorally, BSE FMCG index fell the most by losing 1.63 per cent, followed by infrastructure 0.83 per cent, auto (0.57 pc), oil&gas (0.51 pc), metal (0.40 pc), PSU (0.27 pc) and Power (0.12 pc).

Smallcap and midcap indices, however, continued their yesterday’s upward trend on buying by retail investors. Smallcap rose 1.10 per cent, while midcap gained 0.39 per cent.

Foreigners sold shares worth Rs 1,532.84 crore yesterday, as provisional data.

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