Sensex ends near three-week low at close, Bank of Baroda, IDFC shares fall

Sensex close

The BSE Sensex erased early gains today and fell for the third consecutive session - down 30 points at 19,751.19 - to three-week low on profit booking amid some weak quarterly earnings and lower openings in European markets.

PSU, Healthcare, Power, Oil & Gas and Metal stocks faced selling pressure.

Offloading in stocks of heavyweights such as SBI, RIL, ITC, ONGC, Cipla, BHEL and Dr Reddy's Lab weighed down the market, while rise in HDFC, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank restricted Sensex fall to some extent.

Marketmen said Bank of Baroda's posting 21.6 per cent dip in October-December profit at Rs 1,011.62 crore, dented by a surge in bad assets, also dampened investor sentiment.

In all, 12 out of 13 sectoral indices closed with losses. Only BSE-Auto finished in the green.

The BSE-Midcap and the BSE-Smallcap settled down by 0.83 per cent and 0.71 per cent respectively.

The BSE 30-stock index, Sensex, opened higher and firmed up further to a high of 19,902.60 on the back of renewed buying mainly in Auto, Realty, Consumer Durables and Banking sectors amid FII inflows.

However, it failed to maintain initial gains and dropped 30 points or 0.15 per cent to close at 19,751.19, triggered by lower advices from European markets.

The NSE 50-stock index, Nifty, also eased - down 11.65 points or 0.19 per cent at 5,987.25.

"Markets opened on a positive note taking cues from global markets, however continued to face selling pressure and edged lower to negative territory by the end of the day. European indices were also marginally in red and overshadowed the bull sentiment," said Nidhi Sarswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio. Some private banking stocks were in demand, while most of the state-run banks continued to decline following rising non-performing assets (NPA's). BoB was the top loser with a drop of 7.50 points on fall in Q3 net profit. Canara Bank, Union Bank, BoI, IDBI Bank, SBI and PNB fell between 3.45 per cent and 1.86 per cent.

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