MUMBAI: Stock markets turned distinctly weak as the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex tumbled by another 167 points on fag end selling, extending losses for the third straight session.
Selling was not confined to any particular sector as the sectoral indices finished in the negative terrain. Banking and pharma counters were the prominent losers.
Operators and high net worth individuals (HNI) preferred to play safe before the announcement of Union Budget on February 28 and offloaded part of their long outstanding positions on the last day of February contract rather than rolling over to the March series. The BSE 30-share sensitive index, Sensex, resumed better at 14200.11 against Wednesday's close of 14188.49 and touched a high of 14287.03. However, fag end profit taking pulled the index down to a low of 13978.05 before concluding at 14021.31, a steep loss of 167.18 points or 1.18 per cent. Similarly, the National Stock Exchange's (NSE) S&P CNX Nifty dipped by another 56.20 points or 1.37 per cent to 4040.
Cement stocks bore the brunt of heavy selling on concerns that the government might ban exports. There was also rumour that the IT department conducted raids on some brokers and other stock market intermediaries on Thursday, but the government denied it.
According to analysts, it was the last day of derivatives and the market was range bound with downward bias for the last couple of days, consolidating before Union Budget. PTI