Sensex drops 54 points

MUMBAI, MARCH 11. The Sensex reacted negatively after early signs of buoyancy and ended today with a fall of 54 points in lacklustre activity on profit taking by operators despite sustained foreign institutional investment inflows.

After touching an intra-day high of 6948.54 during early trade, the BSE benchmark 30-share index later turned weak and gradually moved downwards to the day's low of 6838.95 before ending the day at 6853.73 against yesterday's close of 6907.65, a net fall of 53.92 points.

The FIIs and domestic financial institutions, however, were believed to be buyers in select blue chip stocks, particularly steel counters and in turn, mitigated the negative impact on the market. The FIIs reported hefty net investments of Rs. 1,753.30 crores in equities in the first three trading sessions of the week.Discounting heavy FII activity, brokers said the huge net purchases of Rs. 793.20 crores on Wednesday included FII investments in Jet Airways initial public offering.

Operators remained extremely cautious and took profits in some heavyweighted stocks even as the bourses warned investors and market players, directing them to be cautious in view of increased market activity and volatility.

Meanwhile, led by a strong performance from manufacturing sector, industrial growth shot up to 8 per cent during January. — PTI