The markets ended their fifth consecutive choppy session today on sustained weakness in the global markets amid heavy selling by foreign funds on the realty and auto counters, pulling down the benchmark Sensex by another 79 points.
The Bombay Stock Exchange barometer after opening 115 points down touched a low of 16,705.56, but gradually recovered on buying support in some key shares and turned positive in late mid-session. But last hour profit booking pulled the index down to settle the day at 16,780.46, a loss of 79.22 points or 0.47 per cent.
Dealers attributed high volatility to the market holiday tomorrow due to the Republic Day and the forthcoming expiry of January contracts on Thursday, besides the continuing sluggishness in world equities and rate hike worries.
The 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange too shed another 28.10 points or 0.56 per cent to close 5007.90, from its last close after a gap-down opening of 43 points.
After realty and auto indices, the next worst hit sectors are the metals, IT and banking counters.
According to analysts, the markets are likely to remain volatile in a truncated week as traders would prefer to roll over their positions in the derivative segment from the January series to February series ahead of the expiry of the January contracts on Thursday.
Some of the technical indicators too pointed to more weakness in the coming days, they added.The Asian indices ended lower today after the Wall Street’s worst three-day slide in nearly 10 months, triggered by US president Barack Obama’s plan to curb risk taking by financial institutions and also disappointing Q4 results.
Key markets like Japan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan closed down by 0.28 and 1.09 per cent.
European was also feeble in early trade today on fears that the global recover may be losing steam.
The market participants are looking ahead for cues from the fourth quarter monetary policy review on Friday, when it is expected that the RBI will tighten money supply.
Reflecting sharp slide in realty and auto stocks, the BSE realty index plunged by 108.01 points or 2.88 per cent and auto index by 158.05 points or 2.14 per cent. From other indices, metals dipped by 263.17 points or 1.52 per cent, IT by 67.86 points or 1.31 per cent and the Bankex by 107.65 points or 1.10 per cent.
Among the top losers, M&M slumped by 5.24 per cent, JP Associates 3.27 per cent, DLF 2.77 per cent, Tata Steel 2.24 per cent, Sterlite 1.99 per cent, RCom 1.57 per cent, Hero Honda 1.48 per cent and Hindalco 1.46 per cent.
The gainers were Bharti Airtel 2.86 per cent, HUL 2.35 per cent, ITC 2.21 per cent and L&T 1.24 per cent.
Amongst the 30 Sensex counters 17 ended in the red. The overall market breadth remained negative with 1,747 declines against 1,105 gains on the BSE.
Trading volume dropped sharply to Rs 4,843.58 crore against Rs 6,560.62 crore on Friday. JaiCorp was the most active share with Rs 214.65 crore turnover, followed by Hind Copper (Rs 160.10 crore),RCF(Rs 117.09 crore), NFL (Rs 99.63 crore) and Havells (Rs 96.38 cr).