Free Press Journal

Sensex logs first drop on opening trading day in 7 years


Mumbai: The Sensex today reversed early gains and slipped by 30.20 points, the first drop for the benchmark on the opening trading day in seven years, as losses in RIL, TCS and Infosys outweighed gains in Airtel and Sun Pharma.

Traders said direction-less investors booked profits, amid most Asian financial markets remaining closed. US stocks yesterday powered to fresh peaks during 2013’s last session.

After a better start at 21,222.19, the 30-share Sensex rolled back gains to close lower by 30.20 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 21,140.48 after 15 constituents closed down. On January 2 in 2006, Sensex had ended lower by 7.8 points.

Yesterday after market hours, government data showed India’s fiscal deficit touched Rs 5,09,557 crore during April-November, or 93.9 per cent of the annual target.

Additionally, core sector growth slowed to 1.7 per cent in November from 5.8 per cent a year ago, dampening sentiment.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty today declined by 2.35 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 6,301.65, after touching an intra-day high of 6,327.20. Also, SX40 index of MCX Stock Exchange closed 5.17 points down at 12,577.52.

Two influential stocks with nearly 15 per cent weight on the BSE benchmark – Reliance Industries fell 0.68 per cent and Infosys slid 0.55 per cent. Other major losers were TCS, Wipro, Axis Bank, HDFC, L&T, Tata Motors and Tata Power.

However, Bharti gained over 2 per cent and Sun Pharma nearly one per cent.

Sectorally, the BSE IT sector index suffered the most by losing 0.65 per cent, followed by Oil & Gas index (0.37 per cent) and Teck index (0.20 per cent).

Gains in stocks of realty, consumer durables, healthcare, metal, auto, banking and FMCG sectors saved the market from any major fall, analysts said.

West Bengal Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya also demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) be called to investigate the case.