Fag-end selling over growth concern drags Sensex 94 pts down


Bucking a positive global trend, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed nearly 94 points lower at 19,323.80 on fag-end selling due to growth concerns, amid expiry of December futures contract.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer initially touched a high of 19,504.40 but succumbed to heaving selling at the end of session to close at 19,323.80 -- a fall of 93.66 points or 0.48 per cent. The index snapped a straight

two-session gaining string.

Fall in stocks like RIL, ICICI Bank, Infosys, HDFC, ITC, M&M, TCS and HUL mainly weighed on the market, which took out nearly 90 points from the Sensex today.

"Profit-booking was seen in some of the stocks like Reliance, M&M, HUL and BHEL, and others kept the index under pressure. Investors rolled their positions as it was Futures and Options (F&O) expiry day," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice

President, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.

Traders said selling pressure in Indian stocks rose after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in New Delhi that India faces many challenges to achieve sustainable growth.

Describing the current economic situation as a difficult one, he hinted at tough decisions like hike in energy prices and reduction of subsidies to achieve 8 per cent growth target in 12th Five Year Plan.

The broad-based S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE also declined by 35.50 points or 0.60 per cebt to end at 5,870.10.

Overall, the market breadth turned negative as 1,664 stocks ended lower while 1,228 scrips settled with gains.

The domestic market did not move in line with Asian markets, barring Shanghai, that gained in the 0.1-1.1 per cent range. European markets were also trading 0.2-0.4 per cent higher in their afternoon trades.

Market experts attributed the initial rally in Indian stocks to "covering of short positions" on the last day of derivatives contract, amid sustained capital inflows. However, selling, in the form of profit-booking, in the last half an hour later put pressure on the market, they added.

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