Midsession: Sensex in the red on profit-selling

Midsession: Sensex in the red on profit-selling

Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark pared its early gains and fell by 121 points at midsession on Tuesday on profit booking in heavy-weight stocks.

The Sensex fell by 120.71 points to 16,205.30 points at 7:30pm. The barometer had opened higher by 131.28 points.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 36.75 points at 5,105.05 at the same time. It rose to 5,181.95 in early trade.

Shares tested fresh 17-month highs and were trading 0.3% higher at noon, mirroring the gains in global markets, but weakness in Reliance Industries ahead of a court hearing on its dispute with Reliance Natural Resources checked gains.

Major lenders ICICI Bank and State Bank of India led the gainers and rose on expectations the central bank may hold rates steady at its policy meet next Tuesday. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight on Sensex, slipped ahead of the Supreme Court hearing.

Reliance Industries was down 0.6% at Rs2,211.10, while Anil Ambani-led Reliance Natural Resources climbed 3.1% to Rs89.55.

“Investors have turned nervous about Reliance Industries. But it will be months before the judgement comes out. There’s no need to panic right now," said R. K. Gupta, managing director of Taurus Mutual Fund.

Foreign funds have poured $13.6 billion in Indian equities so far this year, driving the benchmark 80 percent higher since the end of 2008.

“Some amount of profit booking may happen in sessions to come. But downside risks are not very high in the near term considering the strong global cues," added Gupta.

Private lender ICICI Bank climbed 1.2% to Rs960 while top lender State Bank was up 0.8% at Rs2,482.

State-run power producer NTPC rose as much as 4.25% in early deals, after the government approved a 5 percent stake sale in the company on Monday. The stock was trading 1.2% higher at Rs216.55.

Top software services exporter Tata Consultancy climbed 1.6% to Rs618.20, on a better-than-expected 29% rise in its September quarter net profit.

“Given the impressive out-performance recorded by the software major on the volumes front and the tailwinds of deals won recently, we believe TCS is likely to record an improvement in its core business performance as the global economy gradually recovers," Karvy Stock Broking said in a note.

In the broader market, gainers led losers in the ratio of 1.1:1, in a volume of 179 million shares.

Asian stocks rose to a 14-month high after strong sales numbers from Apple Inc suggested US consumers are spending more.