Profit-booking drags BSE Sensex down over 71 pts, NTPC shares tank 11 pct

BSE SensexThe Sensex provisionally fell 0.36 percent, retreating from its record high of 21,483.74. (AP)

The benchmark BSE Sensex fell for the first time in 4 days and closed 71.16 points down today hurt by losses in power, capital goods and banking shares, amid profit-booking after the recent rise took it to a record high.

Shares of Sensex constituent NTPC, which tanked over 11 per cent, led power sector lower on worries the proposed electricity tariff regulation would hit earnings.

Bluechips, including ICICI Bank, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), slid 3-4 per cent after market participants book profits in the backdrop of 618-point surge in Sensex in the previous three days. However, rise in IT stocks capped the index's losses.

The Sensex, which had climbed to an all-time closing high of 21,326.42 in the previous session, fell by 71.16 points, or 0.33 per cent to 21,255.26. Intra-day, the gauge moved between 21,175.08 and 21,327.75.

Trading sentiment was also dampened on a weakening Asian trend and lower opening in Europe as reports said Chinese industrial production rose less-than-estimated last month.

Apart from these factors, markets also saw selling pressure after Fitch expressed fears that the defeat of Congress in four of the five state assembly polls could lead to higher fiscal deficit target as the government would be constrained to curb expenditure.

The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 31.05 points, or 0.49 per cent, to end at 6,332.85. It had climbed to a record high of 6,363.90 yesterday. Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, dropped 18.59 points or 0.15 per cent to end at 12,616.20.

In PSU power shares, besides NTPC, NHPC, Power Grid and SJVN fell in 1-3 per cent range. Private sector peers, Reliance Power and Tata Power also logged losses.

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