Sensex slips 34 pts on profit booking, inflation fears

Mumbai: Erasing its morning gains, the BSE index Sensex closed 34 points down at 18,232.06 level on profit booking amid concerns over high inflation and interest rates.

The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange index, Sensex, which had gained over 418 points in the previous two sessions, fell 34.04 points, or 0.19 per cent to 18,232.06 in volatile trading, after investors locked in gains in auto, refinery and capital good stocks.

The gauge shuttled between 18,380.17 and 18,199.52 points during the day.

Reliance Industries (RIL) and Infosys Technologies– the most valuable scrips on Sensex–fell on fresh round of selling. RIL shed 0.70 per cent to Rs 939.70 and Infosys edged lower by 0.28 per cent to Rs 2,780.20 a piece.

Brokers said investors turned cautious on concerns over rising inflation and interest rates, and preferred to book profits in heavy-weight stocks after two-session of gains, reversing an early firm trend.

Oil and gas, capital goods, oil and gas, and IT sector stocks came under pressure on fresh selling. However, gains in healthcare, consumer durables and banking stocks capped the fall.

Besides, absence of any positive cue from global market also had a negative impact on the trading sentiments here, they said.

The auto auto index fell the most by losing 1.50 per cent to 8,846.69 as Tata Motors dropped Rs 0.96 per cent to Rs 1,078.15, Mahindra and Mahindra by 5.34 per cent to Rs 664.60 and Maruti Suzuki by 0.54 per cent to Rs 1,209.05.

The oil and gas sector index ended 0.64 per cent to 9,480.52, while capital goods index fell 0.30 per cent to 12,924.77.

Bucking the trend, the healthcare index closed 2.24 per cent higher at 6,275.93 as Sun Pharma stocks rallied by 4.46 per cent to Rs 465, buoyed by company`s expansion plans, while Ranbaxy Laboratories gained 4.41 per cent to Rs 533.70.

The banking sector index also ended in positive territory with a rise of 0.50 per cent to 12,281.64 as HDFC Bank gained 0.69 per cent to Rs 2,314 and State Bank of India by 0.07 per cent to Rs 2,236.

The consumer durables sector index rose 2.01 per cent to 6,462.98 with stocks of Titan Industries rising 3.29 per cent to Rs 4,314.20 and VIP Industries up by 2.63 per cent to Rs 764.50.