Sensex snaps 10-session winning run, skids 264 points; RIL top drag

Snapping its 10-session rising streak, equity benchmark Sensex tumbled 264 points on Wednesday as investors booked profits in Reliance Industries, as well as IT, finance and FMCG stocks amid mixed global cues.

However, a recovering rupee and sustained foreign fund inflows restricted the fall, traders said.

After touching its record intra-day high of 48,616.66 in early trade, the 30-share BSE index pared all gains to end 263.72 points or 0.54 per cent lower at 48,174.06.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty fell 53.25 points or 0.38 per cent to 14,146.25. It touched a record peak of 14,244.15 during the day.

ITC was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding 2.86 per cent, followed by Reliance Industries, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, HCL Tech and HUL. On the other hand, PowerGrid, Bharti Airtel, ONGC, UltraTech Cement and ICICI Bank were among the gainers, spurting up to 4.34 per cent.

Global equities were mixed as investors monitored a key election in Georgia which can give Democrats control of the US Senate.

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A favourable outcome for Democrats will enable President-elect Joe Biden to go ahead with his plans of more stimulus and infrastructure spending, but can also result in higher corporate taxes and increased regulation.

“Market is experiencing volatility due to weak Asian market and profit booking owing to rich valuation. Banking stocks are supportive, led by good loan growth data for Q3FY21, announced by key private banks.

“In the near-term, trend of the broad market will depend a lot on FII inflows while stock specific actions will be based on Q3 result, which is about to pick up,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

BSE energy, FMCG, IT, teck and auto indices fell up to 2 per cent, while utilities, metal, telecom, basic materials and power indices rose up to 2.19 per cent.

In the broader markets, the BSE midcap index rose 0.39 per cent, while the smallcap gauge slipped 0.14 per cent.

India’s services sector activity expanded at a slower pace in December as rate of growth in sales eased to a three-month low and staff hiring came to a halt amid weak business optimism, a monthly survey said on Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted India Services Business Activity Index fell from 53.7 in November to 52.3 in December.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended on a positive note, while Tokyo and Seoul were in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading firm in early deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.99 per cent higher at USD 54.13 per barrel.

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