Sensex falls 120 points on profit booking

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Mumbai:  A benchmark index of Indian equities markets fell 120 points on profit booking Friday, a day after breaching the psychological 19,000-mark. Technology, health care and banking stocks were the worst performers.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,115.89 points, closed at 18,938.46 points, 119.69 points or 0.63 percent down than its previous day’s close at 19,058.15 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 19137.29 points and a low of 18757.34 points in intra-day trade. The BSE midcap index was down 53.12 points, while the smallcap index was lower by 65.16 points.

On the sectoral front, the BSE IT index was down 97.12 points followed by health care index, down 105.83 points, and the banking index, down 145.33 points.

The Sensex Thursday had crossed the 19,000-point mark for the first time in almost 15 months, rising over 200 points, expecting reforms in the pension and insurance business.

The reforms were unveiled late in the day, with the government announcing legislative changes that will allow up to 49 percent foreign equity in pension sector and hike such limit in insurance to 49 percent from the present 26 percent.

However, as per the traders’ point of view, the reforms measures lacked conviction as legislative changes have to be passed by parliament where the government does not have a clear majority. Some of its key allies are also opposed to these reforms.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), which plunged 800 points due to a freak trade by a brokerage house, also closed 0.70 percent down at 5746.95 points.

“The market circuit filter got triggered due to entry of 59 erroneous orders which resulted in multiple trades for an aggregate value of over Rs.650 crore. These orders have been entered by a trading member Emkay Global Financial Services on behalf of an institutional client,” NSE said in a statement.

“These non-algo market orders have been entered for an erroneous quantity which resulted in executing trades at multiple price points across the entire order book thereby causing the circuit filter to be triggered. These orders have been identified to a specific dealer terminal,” it added.

The market cut the losses in late trade tracking positive European markets.

Major Sensex gainers were Tata Motors, 2.24 percent at Rs.280.35; Hindustan Unilever, up 1.60 percent at Rs.564.50; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 1.16 percent at Rs.869.05; ONGC, up 1.09 percent at Rs.287.20; and Hindalco Inds, up 0.89 percent at Rs.123.

The main losers were HDFC, down 4.89 percent at Rs.749.65; Sun Pharma, down 2.48 percent at Rs.681.05; Wipro, down 2.41 percent at Rs.373.80; Infosys, down 1.84 percent at Rs.2,527.90; and ICICI Bank, down 1.57 percent at Rs.1,066.65.

Among other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.44 percent up while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended trading 0.50 percent higher. Shanghai’s composite index also closed 1.45 percent high.

IANS

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