Mumbai: Markets ended marginally lower on Wednesday after nine consecutive sessions of gains owing to a fag-end rush among investors to unwind bets amid sustained foreign fund outflows. The 30-share BSE Sensex shed 63 points to end at 34,331.68, while the broader NSE Nifty finished 22.50 points lower at 10,526.20.

Participants were eager to take money off the table after the recent rally—the markets’ longest winning streak in over three years—even as the wider sentiment remains positive, underpinned by upbeat macro cues and forecast of a normal monsoon, brokers said.

The BSE Sensex, after resuming higher at 34,443.42, advanced to hit a high of 34,591.81 on buying by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) as well as retail participants. However, investors preferred to lock in gains towards the close of the session, with the benchmark finally ending at 34,331.68, down 63.38 points, or 0.18%. The gauge had risen 1,375.99 points, or 4.17% in the previous nine sessions.

Likewise, the 50-stock NSE barometer Nifty finished 22.50 points, or 0.21%, down at 10,526.20 after hitting the day’s high of 10,594.20 and a low of 10,509.70. It had gained 420.30 points, or 4.15% in the past nine sessions. Investor sentiment got a boost after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said India is expected to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019, leaving its nearest rival China behind.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net 951.39 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities to the tune of 23.81 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional data.

“Market took a breather after consecutive days of rally as weakening rupee and surge in yield influenced investors to book profit. Global cues remain positive supported by earnings and ease in trade tensions. Back home, bank index underperformed due to RBI’s tightening of NPA norms while market remain in a positive territory due to better earnings and monsoon expectation," said Vinod Nair, head of research, Geojit Financial Services.

Sensex components which finished in the red were Axis Bank (2.60%), M&M (1.55%), IndusInd Bank (1.23%), Hero MotoCorp (0.97%), Coal India (0.89%), Power Grid (0.81%), SBI (0.79%), RIL (0.71%), Asian Paints (0.65%), Kotak Bank (0.61%), ICICI Bank (0.51%), HDFC Ltd (0.42%), Tata Motors (0.42%), HDFC Bank (0.39%), Maruti Suzuki (0.39%), Bajaj Auto (0.28%), Dr Reddy’s (0.25%), Sun Pharma (0.22%) and TCS (0.20%).

On the other hand, ITC emerged as the top gainer by surging 2.82%, followed by Wipro at 2.40%. Other winners were Bharti Airtel, up 1.29%, Tata Steel 0.95%, Adani Ports 0.81%, NTPC 0.65% and ONGC 0.55%, cushioning the fall.

Sectorally, BSE consumer durables fell the most at 1.18%, followed by bankex 0.85%, oil and gas 0.65%, PSU 0.57%, healthcare 0.47%, auto 0.47%, IT 0.21% and capital goods 0.13%. While FMCG rose 1.57%, realty 0.49%, metal 0.46%, power 0.17%, infrastructure 0.03% and tech 0.03%.

The broader markets too succumbed to profit-booking, with the small-cap index falling 0.37% and mid-cap index shedding 0.07%. Coming to global markets, most of other Asian markets ended higher and European shares were up in their early deals, tracking overnight gains at the Wall Street on strong earnings and outlook.

Japan’s Nikkei surged 1.42%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.74% and Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.80%. European shares were in better shape as investors monitored a fresh batch of corporate earnings and economic data. Frankfurt’s DAX was up 0.34%, while Paris CAC 40 rose 0.50%. London’s FTSE gained 0.89%.

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