Sensex, Nifty fall after hitting record highs

The benchmark Bomaby Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex on Wednesday made history by surpassing 30,000 level after RBI announced a surprise rate cut within days of the Budget but it wiped off all gains to end with a 213-point loss on heavy profit-booking.

For the second time in two months, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan in an out-of-turn policy rate action lowered repo rate by 0.25 per cent before stock markets opened. The BSE Sensex resumed at 29,937.27 and then hit its all-time record high of 30,024.74 within minutes but slowly lost all early gains.

Banking, metal, power and auto shares faced the brunt of profit-booking with investors, both domestic and foreign, taking money off the table following recent gains, brokers said.

In the last 90 minutes, the Sensex even touched the day’s low of 29,289.05 – down over 700 points from the high. It settled a tad better at 29,380.73, still down 213 points or 0.72 per cent. With this, it snapped a 4-day rise during which the index had surged 850 points on the back of strong foreign fund inflows following the Budget.

The Sensex’s previous life high of 29,844.16 was hit on January 30 but it had fallen 499 points at close on that day.

Similarly, the 50-share National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty on Wednesday made a new high 9,119.20, surpassing its previous intra-day high of 9,008.40 hit on Tuesday. However, the emergence of profit-booking at record levels dragged the index down by 73.60 points, 0.82 per cent down, to 8,922.65 at close.

Laggards on benchmark indices include Sesa Sterlite, Tata Power, Hindalco, Axis Bank, SBI, Coal India, Tata Steel, M&M, Wipro, Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank.

However, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto, ITC, Bharti Airtel and HDFC ended on the gainers list.

Sectorally, the Metal index suffered the most by falling 2.42 per cent, followed by Banking by 1.77 per cent, Oil & Gas index by 1.33 per cent and Power index by 1.30 per cent among others.

Foreigners had bought shares worth a net Rs 772.92 crore on Tuesday, data showed.

Globally, a weak trend at other Asian markets and a lower opening on European markets, too triggered late selling on the domestic bourses here, brokers said.

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