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Sensex washes out early gains, slides 49 pts in see-saw trade


Mumbai : The benchmark BSE Sensex failed to maintain the early momentum and gave up its gains towards the mid-way to close lower by 49 points to 28,003.12, led by sell-off in ICICI Bank and L&T amid mixed trend overseas.

Though the first half was upbeat, driven by optimistic buying by investors and sustained foreign fund inflows amid rising hopes of GST law passage as early as this week.

Meanwhile, a monthly PMI survey showed that manufacturing sector continued with its uptrend and hit a four-month high in July, backed by stronger upturn in new business orders.

The Nikkei Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – a composite indicator of manufacturing performance – rose to 51.8 in July from 51.7 in June.

But sentiments turned somewhat weak towards the middle of the session as profit-booking emerged as investors turned cautious on disappointing quarterly earnings by some bluechip companies and initial gains were completely wiped-off.

Shreyash Devalkar, Fund Manager – Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund, said, “It was an indecisive day on the bourses as key benchmark indices started the day on a positive note, but succumbed to selling pressure in mid-afternoon trade, only to pare losses and finally close the day near the flat line.”

“Investors are keenly following the progress on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) constitutional amendment bill in Parliament, and chose to shrug off marginally improved Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) numbers,” he added.

Shares of private sector lender ICICI Bank suffered the most by plunging 5.19 per cent to Rs 249.20 after the company on Friday reported a 22.1 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 2,516 crore for the quarter ended June 30 as bad loans mounted.

Shares of engineering major, Larsen & Toubro tumbled 4.12 per cent to Rs 1,493.80 despite reporting a 46 per cent jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 610 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2016.

Other laggards included Adani Ports, Lupin, SBI, Reliance Industries, Cipla, GAIL, Coal India, ONGC, ITC Ltd and HDFC Bank, falling by up to 1.68 per cent.

Sensex started off on a strong foot at 28,083.08 and advanced to hit a high of 28,284.85. However, on selling in key bluechips it cracked below the 28,000-mark to a low of 27,873.53, before settling 48.74 points or 0.17 per cent lower at 28,003.12. The gauge had lost 156.76 points.

The NSE Nifty finished 1.95 points or 0.02 per cent down at 8,636.55. It shuttled between 8,711.30 and 8,590.50.

The broader markets outperformed the benchmark Sensex with the BSE mid-cap index rising 0.38 per cent and small-cap index up 0.10 per cent as investors indulged in widening their bets.

Auto-maker stocks, however, remained in keen demand on the back of encouraging monthly sale numbers and cushioned the fall in the key indices.

Shares of country’s largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki rose 2.41 per cent to close at an all-time high of Rs 4,869.80 after company today posted a 12.7 per cent growth in its total sales in July at 1,37,116 units as against 1,21,712 units in the same month a year ago.

Shares of M&M too surged 0.55 per cent to Rs 1,475 after the company today reported a 14 per cent increase in total sales to 39,458 units in July. Bajaj Auto also ended 1.24 per cent higher at Rs 2,735.40.

Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 14.02 crore last Friday, as per provisional data.

In the domestic market, 12 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex pack ended lower while 18 ended higher.

Among BSE sectoral indices, capital goods dropped by 2.34 per cent, followed by banking 1.18 per cent, FMCG 0.52 per cent, PSU 0.22 per cent, realty 0.21 per cent and power 0.12 per cent.

Elsewhere, most of the Asian and European stocks were mixed in their early deals.

Asian indices like Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.40 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.09 per cent, while Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.87 per cent.

European indices like London FTSE and Paris CAC fell 0.04 per cent and 0.51 per cent, respectively, while the Frankfurt’s up 0.20 per cent.

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