Sensex, Nifty breach record levels but settle lower amid profit-booking

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Mumbai: Benchmark equity indices Sensex and Nifty ended lower on Monday after hitting their all-time high levels in early trade amid selling in blue-chip IT stocks and HDFC Bank.

After breaching the 77,000-mark during the early trade, the 30-share BSE Sensex came under selling pressure at the fag-end of the session and ended 203.28 points or 0.27 per cent lower at 76,490.08. During the day, the benchmark jumped 385.68 points or 0.50 per cent to hit a new record of 77,079.04.

Halting its three-day rally, the NSE Nifty dipped 30.95 points or 0.13 per cent to settle at 23,259.20. Intra-day, it climbed 121.75 points or 0.52 per cent to hit the lifetime peak of 23,411.90.

Narendra Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister on Sunday for a record-equalling third term, heading a 72-member Union Council of Ministers that put emphasis on continuity, youth and experience, while also rewarding partners in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

Among the 30 Sensex companies, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Wipro, Bajaj Finance, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC Bank, HCL Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services were among the major laggards.

UltraTech Cement, Power Grid, Nestle, NTPC, Tata Steel and Axis Bank were among the biggest gainers.

"Volatility returned to markets, as Sensex slipped from its new high and fell sharply towards the close amid profit-taking in IT, metals and oil & gas stocks. Lacklustre sentiment also prevailed due to weak global cues after recent data from the US indicated that rate cut may not happen soon," said Prashanth Tapse, Senior VP (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd.

In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge climbed 1.04 per cent and midcap index jumped 0.56 per cent.

Among the indices, services rallied 1.61 per cent, realty jumped 1.34 per cent, commodities (1.28 per cent), utilities (1.11 per cent), healthcare (0.77 per cent) and industrials (0.49 per cent).

IT, auto, metal and teck were the laggards.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought equities worth Rs 4,391.02 crore on Friday, according to exchange data.

"The Indian market currently lacks fresh catalysts following the formation of the new government at the centre, suggesting that some consolidation may occur in the near term. Institutional flows indicate a mixed trend, with FIIs gradually covering their shorts and DIIs booking profits after the market reached historic highs," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

In Asian markets, Tokyo settled in the green while Seoul ended lower. Markets in China and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.

European markets were trading in the negative territory. US markets ended lower on Friday.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.18 per cent to USD 79.76 a barrel.

The BSE benchmark ended at 76,693.36, up 1,618.85 points or 2.16 per cent, on Friday. The Nifty settled with a jump of 468.75 points or 2.05 per cent at 23,290.15.