Sensex sheds 39 points, closes at 19,007.53

Mumbai: IT and metal stocks took a beating on Dalal Street on Friday, but the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex was cushioned from a severe fall by a smart rise in oil and gas and banking blue-chips and closed just 39 points down.

The 30-share Sensex fell by 39.01 points to 19,007.53 in a volatile session where it touched an intra-day low of 18,932.40 and a high of 19,065.34. It had gained 68 points in the previous session.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange Nifty index lost 15.10 points to 5,696.50 after moving between 5,717.55 and 5,674.50.

Brokers said the Sensex fell by 4.2 per cent during the week ended January 21. The barometer has lost around 10 per cent since it touched a peak of 21,004.96 on November 5.

Wipro, the third-largest software services provider fell nearly 4.5 per cent to Rs 456.05 today, even though the company posted a 9.60 per cent rise in third quarter profit to Rs 1,318.8 crore.

The IT sector index suffered the most, losing 1.29 per cent to 6,630.33, followed by the FMCG index, which fell by 1.28 per cent to 3,542.86. The tech index also lost ground and fell by 1.02 per cent to 3,890.01 and the metal index by 0.73 per cent to 16,734.02.

Among the major losers in the Sensex pack, IT bellwether Infosys slid by Rs 44 to Rs 3,245.10 during today`s trade.

Market analysts said the two firms were punished because their results were below the expectations on the street.

Metal stocks also registered a decline on reports of a weakening trend in base metal prices in international markets and fears that any hike in interest rates would effect growth.

The losses were capped by a Rs 16.75 rise in Reliance Industries` scrip to Rs 986.50 after a six-day losing streak.

In addition, a 0.78 per cent rise in the oil and gas sector index to 9,745.48 and a 0.77 per cent jump in the bank index to 12,348.97 kept the Sensex above the crucial 19,000 points mark.

Investors were seen parking their funds in lower priced stocks ahead of the RBI monetary policy meet next week. The smallcap index rose by 0.46 per cent to 8,946.17 and the midcap index by 0.22 per cent to 7,191.87 today.