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Sensex rings in New Year with moderate loss

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MUMBAI: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) surrendered early gains, as shares met with heavy profit taking and fell sharply to close with moderate loss of 7.79 points at 9390.14 on Monday, the first trading day of 2006.

The 30-share Sensex opened on a strong footing at 9422.49 against last Friday's close of 9397.93 and rallied to the day's high of 9457.09.

Later, as shares met with profit-selling at higher levels and declined. The Sensex nose-dived to a low of 9366.09, before closing at 9390.14, revealing a small loss of 7.79 points over the previous close.

Operators and retail investors, who were making fresh commitments in early trade, turned net sellers, while institutional investors kept their commitments limited, brokers said.

Meanwhile, describing the fresh fall as temporary, market analysts said sentiment would remain bullish and the market was likely to touch the 10,000 level before the presentation of the Union Budget in February-end and added that buying spree would continue in view of the robust growth in the economy as well as corporate earnings besides record FII inflows during 2005.

Shares such as RIL, ONGC, Maruti, Reliance Capital, Bajaj Auto, BHEL, HDFC Bank, Hindalco, ICICI Bank and Ranbaxy found good support and closed better.

However, a large number of pivotals such as Infosys Technologies, L&T, Hero Honda, Dr. Reddy's Lab, Grasim and Tata Motors closed weak on selling pressure. - PTI


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