Sensex falls by 65 points; ends five-week gaining rally

Sensex falls by 65 points; ends five-week gaining rally

Mumbai: The shares fell 0.3% on Friday to log its first weekly loss in six weeks, with investors locking in profits ahead of quarterly earnings, after rallying to a 33-month high earlier this week.

Analysts said the market was showing signs of fatigue and sentiment has turned cautious.

“Our view is this is a traders’ market. There has been profit booking by long-only foreign funds, given that there are fears over controls on foreign inflows," said Ambareesh Baliga, senior vice president at Karvy Stock Broking.

“But I see the markets holding on around current levels in the immediate future."

Strong growth outlook for India, Asia’s third-largest economy, and limited opportunities in the developed world has seen brisk investments by foreign funds.

Foreign institutional investors have pumped in a record $21.3 billion into Indian equities so far this year, sending the benchmark index up 16%. Nearly a third of this money has come in since the start of September.

On Tuesday, a deputy governor of the central bank said the Reserve Bank of India is considering measures to deal with an influx of foreign fund flows.

The 30-share BSE index closed 0.32%, or 65.06 points lower at 20,250.26, on Friday, with 20 of its components declining. It had risen as much as 0.5% in early trade.

The benchmark, which had hit a 33-month-high on Monday, is still about 950 points away from a record high of 21,206.77 scaled in January 2008.

“This is a small correction, a very healthy correction. The sell-off is at desired levels," said Deven Choksey, managing director and chief executive of KR Choksey Shares.

Shares of metal firms Tata Steel, Sterlite Industries and Jindal Steel, which had rallied over the past few weeks, shed 1% to 3%.

Auto shares were down on profit sales following a run-up, with Mahindra & Mahindra dropping nearly 2.7%, Tata Motors down 1.9% and Hero Honda slipping 0.4%.

Maruti Suzuki bucked the trend, closing 0.5% higher.

Car sales in India rose an annual 30.4% in September, industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said, as a fast expanding economy continued to attract customers.

But, its president Pawan Goenka said he expects growth to moderate in the December quarter, and forecast an 18-20% expansion for the industry in the financial year ending next March.

Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp fell 1.2%, while ICICI Bank , the country’s second-biggest lender, shed 0.6%.

Export-led outsourcers Infosys Technologies and Wipro rose around 1% each. Infosys, India’s second-largest software services exporter, reports earnings on 15 October 15.

However, larger rival Tata Consultancy shed 0.9%.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd ended 0.2% higher, after rising 1.2% at one point, after the engineering conglomerate secured orders worth 1,585 crore ($358 million).

In the broader market, gainers led losers in the ratio of 1.7-to-1 on a heavy volume of 630 million shares.

The 50-share NSE index was down 0.3% at 6,103.45 points.