The BSE benchmark index Sensex pared early gains to close down by 81 points on Thursday due to late selling in IT stocks led by Infosys on reports of sluggish growth.

The 30-share index had rose to a day’s high of 21,991.36 points on fall in consumer inflation and positive industrial growth in the previous quarter.

However, a late selling mainly in IT stocks led by index major Infosys pushed back the barometer to end lower by 81.61 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 21,774.61 points.

A weak trend in Asian markets after China’s industrial growth and retail sales missed estimates further fuelled the selling pressure, brokers said.

The country’s second largest software exporter Infosys slumped nearly 9 per cent after the company said it expects a sluggish growth in the January-March quarter due to muted spending by clients, especially in the retail sector.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 23.80 points, 0.37 per cent to 6,493.10, after touching the day’s high of 6,561.45.

The IT sector index suffered the most losing 4.06 per cent as Infosys, TCS and Wipro suffered fresh losses. TCS dropped 1.16 per cent while Wipro lost 0.52 per cent.

Another index-linked Sun Pharma tanked 5.03 per cent following a ban on import of products made at its Karkhadi plant in Gujarat by the U.S. authority due to violation of manufacturing norms.

In 30-BSE index components, 13 stocks declined while 17 ended with gains.

Besides IT, stocks of TecK, Realty, Healthcare, Power, Metal and Consumer Durables declined.

Bucking the general weakening trend, stocks of Reliance Industries, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Coal India, Dr Reddy’s Lab, HDFC Bank and Mahindra and Mahindra rose and saved the market from a major fall.

Keywords: SensexNiftyBSENSE

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