Mumbai, Feb 24: Slipping for the third day in a row, the BSE Sensex slipped below the 18k mark today after six sessions to close at 17,923.57, down 155 points, on continuing profit booking and mounting investor concerns over rising crude oil prices.
Capital goods, realty, banking and refinery stocks faced strong selling pressure. Key heavyweights such as RIL, HDFC, L&T, HDFC Bank, SBI and ICICI together erased more than 150 points from Sensex.
Larsen and Tubro was the top loser from the Sensex pack, down 3.60 per cent on profit booking, while housing finance provider HDFC fell 3.45 per cent on reports that global banking major Citigroup is selling its entire stake in it.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share Sensex initially move up to 18,198.15 on firm Asian cues on the back of positive closing on Wall Street yesterday.
However, profit booking by investors on mounting concerns over rising crude oil prices pulled it down to 17,923.57, a loss of 154.93 points or 0.86 per cent. In past three sessions, it has lost 505.04 points or 2.74 per cent.
The NSE 50-share index Nifty also fell, down 54 points or 0.98 per cent to 5,429.30.
“Positive overnight closings in the American markets aided the market opening in green. However, the uptrend was short lived. Initial losses were seen in heavyweight Reliance and banking stocks. Thereafter selling pressure intensified as the session progressed,” said Shanu Goel, Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio.
Investor sentiment turned adverse on international crude prices continuing to inch upwards without abating, she said, adding that even the positive openings in European markets were unable to improve the market sentiments.
FIIs remain net buyers and they picked up shares worth Rs 104.55 crore yesterday as per provisional stock exchange data.
Asia markets were choppy but ended in the green, as surging oil prices helped boost some energy shares. Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan closed up between 0.12 per cent and 1.25 per cent.
European markets were also trading higher in the afternoon, with banking and oil stocks leading the gains. France (CAC), Germany (DAX) and Britain (DAX) were quoting up between 0.7 pc and 0.85 pc.
Of the 30 Sensex scrips, 16 ended with losses. DLF fell 3.18 per cent, followed by BHEL (2.55 pc), SBI (2.41 pc), RIL (2.12 pc), ONGC (2 pc), HDFC Bank (1.84 pc), ICICI Bank (1.29 pc) and Tata Motors (1.14 pc).
However, Sterlite rose 3.17 pc, Tata Power - 1.52 pc, Coal India - 1.43 pc, Bharti Airtel - 1.17 pc, Tata Steel - 0.89 pc and TCS - 0.79 pc.
The market breadth continued to show negative trend as 1,820 stocks ended with losses, while 1,085 finished with gains. The total turnover dropped to Rs 2,900.11 crore from Rs 3,223.17 crore yesterday.