Sensex loses further ground

MUMBAI, MARCH 24. The initial euphoria was short-lived as a late bout of sell-off by hedge funds once again pulled the Sensex down from the day's high to end 12 points lower at 6442.87 in an extremely volatile trading, extending the losing streak to the fourth straight session.

The Sensex has fallen by 257.47 points or 3.84 per cent during the four-day week ahead of a public holiday tomorrow for Good Friday.

The top heavyweight, Reliance, however, bucked the trend for the second consecutive day riding high on hopes of an amicable settlement to the family feud.

The fall in Sensex would have been more pronounced had it not been for gains in key heavyweight counters such as State Bank of India, ITC, Tata Steel and Grasim.

After a smart rally to the intra-day high of 6514.73, the BSE benchmark 30-share index later succumbed to heavy selling pressure in the run-up to the fiscal year-end and dropped sharply to the day's low of 6412.89 before ending at 6442.87 against yesterday's close of 6454.46, a net fall of 11.59 points. Crediting the initial price rally to declining crude oil prices, which have fallen to below $54 a barrel, brokers said the market failed to sustain the gains and buckled under late selling triggered by negative foreign institutional investor activity. — PTI

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