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Sensex down 126 points; at a two-week low

Falling for fifth straight day, the BSE benchmark Sensex lost 126 points to end at a two-week low with ITC shares plunging over 3.5% after its weight was reduced in the FTSE global equity index series. ITC, which is one of the most influential stocks in 30-share Sensex, closed 3.55% down on heavy selling after index provider FTSE cut the Indian conglomerate's weight in global equity index series from 75% to 24%. "ITC was one of the major reasons. It dropped by a wide margin. Towards the end, others like IT stocks also weakened," said Dipen Shah, head — PCG Research — Kotak Securities. Overall, 23 stocks in Sensex, including L&T, HUL, SBI, HDFC and Infosys, closed with losses. Consequently, the gauge dropped 126 points, or 0.65%, at a two-week low of 19,229.26 points. It has now lost 258 points in five days. Similarly, the NSE 50-share Nifty also declined by 36.50 points or 0.62% to finish at 5,851.50.

ITC drops after FTSE changes free-float weight

Shares of ITC slumped after global index provider FTSE reduced the stock's free-float weight in its global equity index series. The cigarette-maker dropped as much as 4.4% during Thursday's intra-day trade, and ended down R10.85 or 3.54% to R295 on the BSE.

FTSE reduced ITC's 'investability' weight to 24% from 75% in its global equity index series and said that the changes are to be effective from December 24. As per a Citigroup note, alteration may lead to a selling of 3.6 crore shares in ITC, amounting to $200 million. ITC was the second biggest loser amongst the Nifty's 50 constituents. FTSE also increased the weight of Kotak Mahindra Bank's free-float from 33% to 35% and that of Indusind bank to 49% from 24%. Indiusind stock rallied 3.2% before closing at R408.65, up R3.65 or 0.9%. After dropping 1.9% in the day's trade, Kotak bank closed at R652.5, down 1.1%.

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