Sensex fails to maintain initial gains, drops 12 pts

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark was down by 12 points at 1015 hours on Wednesday after initial gains were wiped out by fresh selling pressure in oil and gas and banking counters inspite of a firm trend in Asian markets.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) extended its two-day fall, while State Bank of India extended yesterday`s decline, triggered by poor earnings.

India`s largest commercial bank in terms of branch network, State Bank of India (SBI), lost 1.45 per cent to Rs 2,378.50.

Other losers from the Sensex pack were Tata Motors (2.87 per cent), Reliance Infra (2.10 per cent), Reliance (1.79 per cent) and Maruti Suzuki (1.48 per cent).

The BSE benchmark Sensex resumed higher at 18,177.32 and shot up further to 18,218.20, but declined immediately to 18,086.15 before quoting at 18,125.30 at 1015 hours, showing a net loss of 12.05 points, or 0.07 per cent, from its last close.

The NSE 50-share Nifty also moved down by 7.40 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 5,431.55 at 1015 hours.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 487.20 crore and domestic funds sold shares worth Rs 570.29 crore yesterday as per provisional figures released by the stock exchanges.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks edged higher in early trade as a weak yen boosted the outlook for corporates in the region. The key benchmark indices in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and China were up between 0.07 per cent and 1.23 per cent.