Sensex down 75 points in volatile trade

Mumbai: In volatile trading, the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex on Wednesday fell 75 points to 19,612 on profit selling, as rising oil prices fuelled investor concerns that inflation and hike in interest rates could hit corporate earnings.

The 30-share Sensex, which had lost 15 points on Tuesday, fell further by 74.62 points to 19,612.20, after touching the day’s high of 19,811.14.

The National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell 18.30 to 5,891.75, after moving between 5,944.45 and 5,868.80

Brokers said investors expected inflationary pressure to continue in view of high crude oil prices and consumer demand, which would lead to further hike in interest rates.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of India indicated that easy money policy was a distant reality in the face of persistently rising prices. RBI has increased benchmark lending rates eight times in the last one year and had raised inflation forecast.

Besides, they said market was witnessing profit-booking, although in a limited way, after the recent long rally of nearly 11 per cent in March.

A mixed pattern of trading in Asia and higher openings in Europe capped the losses to some extent.

The downward pressure was led by stocks in tech, IT, banking and metal sectors. The banking index fell 0.43 per cent to 13,351.89 as HDFC Bank dropped the most in a month.

The Tech sector index suffered the most by losing 0.84 per cent to 3,908.86, followed by IT sector index — down 0.69 per cent to 6,652.26. The metal index lost 0.41 per cent to 16,645.07.

Reliance Industries, with heaviest weight on the Sensex fell by Rs. 1.10 to Rs. 1,043.85 and the second heaviest, Infosys Technologies, by Rs. 8.90 to Rs. 3,270.60. The two carry nearly 23 per cent weightage in the index.

Mahindra and Mahindra declined Rs. 6.80 to Rs. 725.95 and Maruti Suzuki by Rs. 18.35 to Rs. 1,294.65 after the companies announced price hikes.

}