Equity indices drop from day's highs, Sensex closes below 34k

Published: Dec 27, 2017, 17:55 IST | IANS

The key Indian equity indices, which touched fresh highs intra-day on Wednesday, slipped into the negative territory during the last hour of trade as investors booked profits ahead of derivatives expiry on Thursday

The key Indian equity indices, which touched fresh highs intra-day on Wednesday, slipped into the negative territory during the last hour of trade as investors booked profits ahead of derivatives expiry on Thursday. According to market observers, a depreciating rupee and rising crude oil prices added to the subdued sentiments. The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which rose over 100 points during the trade session, fell to close below the 34,000-level -- which was crossed for the first time on Tuesday.

Equity indices drop from day's highs, Sensex closes below 34kBrokers share cake outside BSE as the Sensex crossed 34, 000 mark in Mumbai on Tuesday. Pic/PTI

On Wednesday, the Sensex closed trade at 33,911.81 points -- down 98.80 points or 0.29 per cent from its previous close -- after it touched a fresh high of 34,137.97 points on an intra-day basis.

The BSE market breadth turned bearish as 1,554 stocks declined as compared to 1,204 advances.

On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the wider Nifty50 fell by 40.75 points or 0.39 per cent to close at 10,490.75 points.

The Nifty50 scaled a fresh intra-day high of 10,552.40 points.

"Markets corrected on Wednesday after two sessions of positive closings. Selling emerged in the last one hour of trade after the Nifty was in positive territory for a major part of the day," Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

"The Sensex, too, closed below the psychological 34,000-mark. Sectorally, the top gainers were the pharma, media and IT indices, while the top losers were the Bank Nifty, PSU banks, realty and auto indices," he added.

In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index closed lower by 0.19 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.33 per cent.

Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors purchased scrips worth Rs 172.32 crore while domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 206.68 crore.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: "Domestic indices failed to sustain near all-time highs as depreciating rupee and surge in oil prices influenced investors to book profits and pushed the market to a negative note."

"Stock-specific news on pharma has influenced investors to focus on the sector which is currently available at low valuation," he added.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by seven paise to close at 64.15 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.08.

Sectorwise, all the sub-indices of the BSE, except the healthcare index, closed in the red. The S&P BSE healthcare index rose by 267.20 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE banking index fell by 180.78 points, followed by capital goods index by 137.58 points and oil and gas index by 134.23 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Sun Pharma, up 6.89 per cent at Rs 577.70; Dr. Reddy's Lab, up 1.71 per cent at Rs 2,400.55; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 0.77 per cent at Rs 747; Wipro, up 0.69 per cent at Rs 305.35; and Hindustan Unilever, up 0.19 per cent at Rs 1,350.55.

Major Sensex losers were: Bharti Airtel, down 1.62 per cent at Rs 534; ICICI Bank, down 1.53 per cent at Rs 312.65; Larsen and Toubro, down 0.87 per cent at Rs 1,258.60; State Bank of India, down 0.85 per cent at Rs 314.15; and Tata Consultancy Services, down 0.82 per cent at Rs 2,621.05.

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