Sensex falls 111 points on profit-booking

Mumbai: Snapping three-day gaining streak, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday fell 111 points on profit-booking ahead of four-day trading break until Monday amid a weak trend in global markets. Sensex, which had gained 540 points in the last three trading sessions, fell 111.40 points, or 0.63 per cent, to 17,486.02 as investors booked profits after the rally.

The NSE index Nifty fell 35.60 point, or 0.66 per cent, to 5,322.90, after touching a low of 5,305.30. The stock markets will remain closed for next two days on account of `Mahavir Jayanti` and `Good Friday`, followed by the week-end. They will reopen on Monday. Globally markets showed weak trend and Japan`s Nikkei index fell below the 10,000 level, lowest since March 13.

Brokers said investors remained cautious ahead of RBI`s annual monetary policy, to be announced on April 17 and fourth quarter corporate earnings results. The two most heaviest on the Sensex, with 20 per cent weightage — Reliance Industries and Infosys lost 0.71 per cent and 0.17 per cent. The major losers were ICICI Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank, DLF, Jindal Steel, L&T, Gail India, Bajaj Auto and Bharti Airtel.

Among the sectoral indices, realty index suffered the most – down 1.35 per cent to 1,797.62, followed by metals — 1.02 per cent to 11,355.27. Banking index lost 0.75 per cent at 11,925.08 and Oil and Gas index was down 0.60 per cent at 8,141.13. However, power and consumer durables stocks gained on value buying.