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Profit booking in banks, IT stocks drag equity indices lower

IANS | Mumbai |

Breaking a six-day gaining streak, the key Indian equity indices on Thursday dived into the negative territory as investors turned cautious on the day of January futures and options (F&O) expiry.

According to market observers, profit booking in banking, IT and consumer durables stocks dampened the sentiment.

At 1 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange traded lower by 33.60 points or 0.30 per cent at 11,052.40 points.

Around the same time, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 36,208.39 points, traded at 36,039.20 points — up 122.44 points or 0.34 per cent from its previous session’s close.

The BSE market breadth was bearish as 1,506 stocks declined against 1,132 advances.

“BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty traded lower on the last session of January expiry in the derivatives segment,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

“Asian stocks held near a record high on Thursday though concerns about the Trump administration’s stance cast a shadow on financial markets while the dollar was under pressure after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin welcomed a weaker currency,” he added.

On Wednesday, the benchmark indices closed in the green — managing to close at fresh levels with nominal gains after touching new highs on an intra-day basis — as IT stocks helped cope up with losses.

The Nifty50 inched up 2.30 points or 0.02 per cent to close at a new high of 11,086 points. It crossed the 11,100-mark during intra-day trade and scaled a fresh high of 11,110.10 points.

On the BSE, the Sensex closed at a new high of 36,161.64 points, after scaling a new high of 36,268.19 points during the intra-day trade.