Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex slid 180 points today as crude oil prices recovered and investors booked profits in banking, PSU and oil & gas sector stocks.

The absence of fresh triggers and cautious sentiment before the expiry of monthly derivative contracts on Thursday and the release of GDP data on Friday also weighed on sentiment, traders said.

ICICI Bank, ITC, HDFC and Reliance Industries dragged the Sensex lower. Bharti Airtel and Coal India were among the biggest losers on the index.

The 30-share S&P BSE Sensex resumed steady at 20,604.27 and then declined to 20,390.62. It ended at 20,425.02, down 180.06 points or 0.87 per cent.
The CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange fell 56.25 points, or 0.92 per cent, to end at 6,059.10. The SX40 index on the MCX Stock Exchange closed 106.90 points lower at 12,124.35.

“Profit booking at higher levels and rollover of positions ahead of F&O expiry this week are likely reasons for today’s sell-off,” said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.

The market may remain volatile as traders roll over positions in the futures & options segment from the November 2013 series to the December 2013 series. The November derivatives contract will expire on Thursday.

Brent and WTI oil futures contracts advanced. Oil prices had fallen yesterday after Iran agreed to restrain its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from sanctions.

“After the historic deal between Iran and world powers which brought down crude prices by over USD 2, markets today shred all its gains and traded negative throughout the day amidst some strong selling pressures due to profit booking and slack trading from the FII community,” said Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research at Veracity Broking Services.

Asian stocks ended mostly lower on profit taking after recent gains. Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore fell while indices in South Korea and Taiwan were up.

European markets were mixed ahead of US house price and consumer confidence reports. Indices in France and the UK moved down while Germany’s DAX was quoted higher.

In the domestic market, 22 Sensex shares declined, led by Bharti Airtel (-2.72 pc), ICICI Bank (-2.61 pc), Coal India (-2.45 pc), ITC (-1.69 pc) and HDFC (-1.53 pc).

Gainers on the index included BHEL, up 2.57 pc, Tata Motors 1.23 pc, Hindustan Unilever 1.06 pc, Hero MotoCorp 1.01 pc and Sesa Sterlite 1 pc.

“Nifty corrected after a robust rally yesterday,” said Kishor P. Ostwal, CMD of CNI Research Ltd. “GDP numbers will be watched carefully.”

The quarterly GDP estimate for July-September is scheduled to be released on November 29.

Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Bankex dropped by 1.52 pc followed by PSU 1.36 pc, Oil & Gas 1.23 pc, FMCG 1.14 pc and Realty 0.92 pc.

The market breadth turned negative as 1,481 stocks ended lower and 1,034 finished higher. Total turnover rose to Rs 3,944.46 crore from Rs 1,833.99 crore yesterday.

Foreign institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 837.80 crore yesterday, according to provisional data from the stock exchanges.

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