Sensex falls on profit booking

Hit by profit-booking in ICICI, HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries shares, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday fell by 110 points to close at two-week low of 19,894.98 amid cautious trading on monthly expiry of derivative products.

Mixed global cues with a downward bias after the US Commerce Department on Wednesday surprised market by declaring contraction in the US economy for the fourth quarter also weighed on the domestic market sentiment.

The BSE 30-share barometer initially touched a high of 20,008.83 but later fell back and remained in negative zone for the rest of the day. It concluded at 19,894.98, a fall of 110.02 points or 0.55 per cent.

Similarly, the NSE 50-issue Nifty also declined by 21.00 points or 0.35 per cent to close at 6,034.75. Banks, mainly from private sector, and refinery stocks fell on selling while realty and PSU shares saw rise.

ICICI Bank fell 1.93 per cent after profit-booking set in after the private sector bank posted over 30 per cent growth in December quarter profit. HDFC Bank scrip lost 1.87 per cent. Reliance Industries fell 1.39 per cent after the first meeting of the newly formed Cabinet Committee on Investment failed to break the logjam over clearances to oil and gas activities in offshore blocks.

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