Sensex drops 54 points

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MUMBAI: The Bombay Stock Exchange's benchmark index on Monday lost 53.87 points on selling by funds in blue chip stocks led by software and oil segments, as the dollar weakened and oil prices surged. However, strengthening banking shares averted any major fall in the market, which picked up on buying interest shown by retail investors on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve might pause its rate hiking campaign.

The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) lost 53.87 points to close at 10812.64, after touching a low of 10780.01 and a high of 10869.66. On the National Stock Exchange, the Nifty declined by 25.65 points to 3151.10. It touched a low 3142.55 and a high of 3178.50.

The Sensex fell as shares of software exporting companies such as Infosys Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Satyam Computer declined after the dollar slid against the rupee, eroding the value of the companies' overseas sales and margins.

Infosys Technologies fell by Rs. 6.65 to Rs. 1674.30 and Tata Consultancy by Rs. 14 to Rs. 936, Wipro by Rs. 13.80 to Rs. 493.55 and Satyam Computer by Rs. 16.45 to Rs. 738. As a result, the IT segment index lost 41.30 points at 3977.36.

As oil prices surged over $76 a barrel in global markets, shares of petro major and Sensex-heaviest Reliance Industries dropped by Rs. 12.40 to Rs. 955. Value-wise, the company's scrip was the most traded on the BSE with a total turnover of Rs. 124.25 crore.

. The weakening market received a cushion as banking stocks led by ICICI Bank, UTI Bank, HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce gained fresh ground, lifting the banking segment index by 84.65 points to 4857.69. PTI



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