Sensex fails to maintain initial gains, down 42 points

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex was down by 42 points at 1015 hours as initial gains were wiped out due to selling pressure in oil & gas, banking and PSU stocks despite firm Asian cues.

The 30-share barometer resumed higher at 18,572.61 and moved up further to 18,575.00 on the back of firm trend in the Asian market and higher US index futures.

However,it declined thereafter to 18,454.93 before quoting at 18,470.85 at 1015 hours, showing a net loss of 41.92 points, or 0.23 per cent, from its last close.

The NSE`s 50-share Nifty index also moved down by 7.75 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 5,533.50 at 1015 hours.

IT stocks gained as positive economic data in China raised hopes of a global economic recovery.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth Rs 25.02 crore and domestic funds bought shares worth Rs 130.86 crore yesterday as per provisional figures on the stock exchanges.

Asian shares pushed higher in line with gains in world markets as Chinese trade data buoyed optimism about the global recovery. The key benchmark indices in Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan rose by between 0.13 per cent and 0.76 per cent.

US stocks rose for a third day yesterday, led by utilities and other defensive sectors that may drive further gains as investors bet on profit growth and set aside concerns about weakening demand.