Biz Stocks Close-report

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Mumbai: Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty pared early gains to close lower on Monday as investors offloaded telecom, power and utility stocks amid a bearish trend in global markets and profit booking.

Intense selling in private bank counters like ICICI Bank and Kotak Bank also dragged the indices down, brokers said. After hitting its lifetime high on Friday, the 30-share BSE index fell 216.28 points or 0.34 per cent to settle at 63,168.30. During the day, it declined 336.75 points or 0.53 per cent to 63,047.83.

There was accelerated selling, particularly in the afternoon trade, dragging the key Sensex from record highs, traders said. The NSE Nifty went lower by 70.55 points or 0.37 per cent to end at 18,755.45. “Indian equities shied away from closing at all-time high levels amid profit-booking, primarily driven by private banks. Global markets also took a breather after a strong rally last week as investors looked forward to China’s rate decision and the Fed chair’s testimony,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services. Kotak Mahindra Bank was the biggest loser from the Sensex pack, skidding 1.83 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, NTPC, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries, HCL Technologies, IndusInd Bank and Nestle.

In contrast, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Tech Mahindra, Tata Consultancy Services, Titan, Infosys, HDFC Bank, HDFC and ITC were the gainers. In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong ended lower. European equity markets were trading in negative territory. TheUS markets ended lower on Friday. Global oil benchmark Brent crude declined 0.38 per cent to USD 76.31 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought equities worth Rs 794.78 crore on Friday, according to exchange data. The BSE benchmark zoomed 466.95 points or 0.74 per cent to settle at a record closing high of 63,384.58 on Friday. The Nifty climbed 137.90 points or 0.74 per cent to end at its lifetime peak of 18,826