In a highly volatile trade, BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday erased early gains to close lower for the third straight day, losing over 141 points on heavy selling in realty stocks following the home loan racket.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index, Sensex, after losing 498 points in the last two trading sessions, fell further by 141.69 to 19,318.16. It touched the day's high of 19,628.27.

The Sensex slid 1.2 per cent on Wednesday to its lowest level in more than two months, as news of the investigation into the housing racket emerged. Later, CBI arrested eight senior officials and of PSU banks and financial firms, including LIC Housing CEO, on charges of taking bribes to grant corporate loans.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty broke another crucial 5800 points level, closing 66 points down to 5,799.75. It touched the day’s high of 5,907.10.

A better global trend and easing food inflation failed to check the down-trend as market participants indulged in squaring up their positions on the last day of monthly derivatives contract on Thursday.

There was a steep fall in stocks of realty, capital goods, power and refinery sectors.

In the 30-BSE index components, 23 stocks closed with losses while seven ended higher, led by IT major Infosys Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services and Bharti Airtel.

A rise in stocks of information technologies, which get more than 50 per cent of their revenue from the US and European markets, only helped in minimising the losses.

The realty sector index suffered the most by losing 5.40 per cent to 2,877.35, after DLF, the nation’s largest real estate developer, fell 4.13 per cent to Rs 292.75, and D B Realty by 9.99 per cent to Rs 235.25 on fears the sector might face higher borrowing costs after following the bribes and improper loans scam.

The stocks of Money Matters Financial Services, also named in the bribery probe, fell 19.99 per cent to Rs 425, in continuation to its 20 per cent fall in the previous session.

Both were the daily lower limits set by the exchange authorities.

The heavy machinery sector’s Capital Goods index was second worst performer by losing 2.88 per cent to 14,990.06 as stocks of Larsen and Tourbo, BHEL, Siemens India, Suzlon, ABB, BEML and Reliance Industrial Infra suffered major losses.

Keywords: Sensexclosing trade

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