Stocks fall for fifth day



Mumbai: The market wiped out initial gains on selling in select key heavyweights after mid-session as the BSE benchmark Sensex declined further by over 20 points at 19,639.72 despite firm global trends, completing straight five-session of losing string.

Selling was seen in blue-chips like ICICI Bank, L&T, HUL, HDFC Bank, ONGC, Coal India, SBI and NTPC while HDFC, ITC, Infosys, TCS, Jindal Steel and Maruti Suzuki attracted good buying support and cushioned the Sensex fall to certain extent.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share gauge resumed better and improved further to a high of 19,767.25, a rise of over 107 points, on the back of firm Asian stocks following rally on Wall Street on Tuesday. But, profit-booking after mid-session pulled it down to settle at 19,639.72, a fall of 20.10 points or 0.10 per cent.

However, the wide-based 50-issue S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE survived to settle just in positive terrain, snapping its four sessions of losses, at 5,959.20, up by a mere 2.30 points or 0.04 per cent.

Announcement of third quarter results by major corporates are mostly over, which were mixed, and already filtered in. Now all eyes are set on the forthcoming Union Budget proposals to be declared on February 28, a broker said.

Barring, South Korea which ended slightly weak, other Asian stocks finished with gains between 0.06 per cent and 3.77 per cent. Japanese stocks surged to their highest level to four years high on fall in yen to multiyear lows after the Bank of Japan governor Gasaaki Shirakawa yesterday stated to step down earlier before his term expires.

Investors hoped that the new governor, which may be replaced by someone, might prefer more aggressive policies to pull Japan out from falling prices.

European stocks showed a narrowly mixed trend as indices in Germany and London moved up by 0.10 per cent to 0.49 per cent while France (CAC) was down by 0.06 per cent.

Turning to the local market 18 scrips out of the Sensex pack declined while others 12 finished with gains. Major losers from the Sensex pack were NTPC (2.12 per cent), Coal India (2.03 per cent), BHEL (1.72 per cent), HUL (1.60 per cent), Larsen (1.23 per cent), Icici Bank (1.08 per cent) and ONGC (0.98 per cent).

However, Jindal Steel rose by 2.69 pct followed by Maruti Suzuki 1.61 per cent, HDFC 1.25 per cent, TCS 0.82 per cent, Hindalco 0.79 per cent, ITC 0.78 per cent and Tata Steel 0.63 per cent.

Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-CG fell by 0.93 per cent, BSE-PSU 0.57 per cent, BSE-Power 0.49 per cent and Bankex 0.34 per cent, while BSE-Realty moved up by 0.78 per cent, BSE-IT 0.62 per cent and BSE-Teck 0.60 per cent.   The market breadth turned positive as 1,165 stocks firmed up.

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