ITC losses pull Sensex down by 74 pts to nearly 3-week lows


sensexMumbai, Jun 23 (PTI) : Steep fall in the FMCG giant and among the top heavyweight, ITC, pulled the benchmark sensex down by another 74 points to end at two-week low of 25,031.32, extending losses for the fourth session in a row.

The market was already under selling pressure following fears of rise in inflation after increase in global crude oil prices following escalating Iraq crisis. India imports more than 70 per cent of its oil requirements.

Selling by foreign funds amid hike in railway freight rates and weak global cues too impacted negatively on the market sentiment.

Fast Moving Consumer Giant (FMCG) major, ITC, was the top loser from the sensex pack with a fall of 6.50 pct on reports of possibility of sharp tax hikes on tobacco products by the union health minister Harsh Vardhan.

Profit-booking ahead of the expiry of June contract on coming Thursday also kept the market under pressure.

The BSE 30-share barometer resumed stable and immediately touched a high of 25,197.50. Later, it fell back sharply below 25K-mark at 24,878.66 before recovering some ground to settle at 25,031.32, a net fall of 74.19 points or 0.30 pct.

The broad-based 50-issue CNX Nifty of the NSE also eased further by 18.10 points or 0.24 pct to end below 7,500-mark after two week at 7,493.35.

Overall, market breadth was positive as second-line stocks attracted good buying interest from retail investors and as a result, S&P BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap indices closed with gains, outperforming the sensex.

Most Asian stocks ended lower amid upbeat news from China’s factory sector and fresh highs on Wall Street on last Friday. Key benchmark indices in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan dropped by 0.04 pct to 1.68 pct while indices in Japan and South Korea moved up by 0.13 per cent to 0.35 pct.

European markets were trading lower after data showed Euro-area manufacturing and services activity weakened in June. Key indices in France, Germany and UK were trading lower by 0.35 pct to 0.78 pct.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 220.65 crores on last Friday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

Turning to the local market, 21 scrips out of 30-share Sensex pack ended higher while 8 counters finished lower.

Other major losers were Infosys (2.55 pct) HUL (1.03 pct), TCS (0.95 pct) and Wipro (0.93 pct).

However, ONGC rose by 4.63 pct followed by Hero Motocorp 2.38 pct, BHEL 2.26 pct, SSLT 1.80 pct, M&M 1.45 pct, Tata Steel 1.39 pct, Icici bank 1.03 pct, Hindalco 0.98 pct, Bajaj Auto 0.89 pct, Axis Bank 0.84 pct and SBI 0.80 pct.

Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, FMCG dropped by 4.06 pct, IT 1.56 pct and Teck 1.12 pct while Oil&Gas rose by 1.43 pct and Metal 1.13 pct.

Market breadth turned higher as 1,562 stocks finished with gains, 1,387 stocks ended lower while 124 ruled steady.

Total turnover dropped further to Rs 3,022.95 crs from Rs 3,056.97 crore on last Friday.



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