Sensex snaps four-day gaining streak

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Bourses ignore Mukherjee’s remarks on stimulus package

MUMBAI: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index, Sensex, snapped its four-day winning streak to close the day lower by nearly 58 points in another tepid session amid weak global cues.

After moving in a narrow range, the barometer index concluded at 17343.82, a fall of 57.74 points from its previous close.

The 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange softened by 18.50 points to settle at 5169.45.

Brokers said the market was trapped in a narrow range as there was no clear direction either from the domestic front or from the overseas bourses which were yet to come out of holiday mood. Markets discarded Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee ruling out immediate withdrawal of stimulus. Investors took note of his comments that deficit had to be contained.

The markets had gained a huge 800 points in the previous four days of trading and the Sensex on December 24 closed at 19-month high of 17360.61.

Investor sentiment had got a boost after hefty advance tax payment by corporates last week. Mr. Mukherjee’s remarks last week that stimulus would continue for some more time and his optimistic projection of growth also lifted the sentiment. However, intense speculation that the Reserve Bank of India would signal hike in interest rates had kept the market uncertain.

During the year, the Sensex has gained nearly 80 per cent making it one of the best performing years for the markets.

Marketmen said every bout of buying was immediately followed by selling, adding expiry of December contract also weighed against the market sentiment.

Most Asian markets closed mixed after Japan Airlines Corporation tumbled on reports that the carrier’s biggest lenders opposed a plan to restructure the company through bankruptcy.

The benchmark indices from China, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan ended in the green, while Hong Kong and Japan finished with losses.

European markets exhibited a feeble trend in early trade. The DAX was down by 0.59 per cent, the CAC by 0.37 per cent and the FTSE by 0.24 per cent.

Reflecting hectic retail buying, small-cap and mid-cap counters on the BSE attracted good buying support. Barring FMCG, which came under some profit selling, most sectoral indices closed flat. FMCG index took a hit of 1.12 per cent.

Rupee drops 8 paise

The rupee on Wednesday closed lower by eight paise against the U.S. dollar on month-end dollar demand amid weak equities.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the domestic unit opened lower at 46.74/75 and traded in a narrow range. It closed at 46.74/75, down eight paise from 46.66/67 previously.

The dollar was firm against a basket of currencies in overseas markets which partly weighed on the rupee, a forex dealer said.— PTI



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