Sensex down 44 pts on profit-booking

Sensex open

The BSE benchmark Sensex fell by almost 44 points in early trade today as funds and retail investors preferred to book profits after yesterday's gains.

The 30-share barometer, which gained 74.53 points in the last session, moved down by 43.58 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 18,461.80 with stocks of FMCG, oil and gas, and metal sectors leading the fall.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty shed 10.70 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 5,609.

Brokers said besides profit-booking by speculators, a mixed trend at the Asian markets following overnight losses at European and the US markets, influenced the sentiments.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei Index gained 0.08 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 0.31 per cent in early trade today.

In the US market, which resumed after a two-day shutdown forced by superstorm Sandy, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.08 per cent lower in yesterday's trade.

GLOBAL MARKETS ROUND UP

Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange fell 0.02 percent. The MSCI-Asia Pacific index excluding Japan is down 0.16 percent.

The U.S. stock market slowly returned to life on Wednesday after two days in the dark, with the Dow and the S&P 500 ending little changed while the Nasdaq Composite edged lower in a session with slightly less than average volume.

Asian shares fell on Thursday as China's official and private sector manufacturing PMIs confirmed a recovering growth trend, but failed to convince investors the slowdown was bottoming out.

FACTORS TO WATCH

India's top automakers' Oct. sales

Earnings: Aban Offshore, BGR Energy Systems , GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Godrej Properties

TOP NEWS

India's fiscal deficit during the April-September period rose to 3.37 trillion rupees ($62.6 billion), or 65.6 percent of the full fiscal year 2012/13 target, government data showed on Wednesday.

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