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Markets retreat from record highs; Sensex falls 216 pts

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MUMBAI, June 19 (PTI): Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty pared early gains to close lower on Monday as investors offloaded telecom, power and utility stocks amid a bearish trend in global markets and profit booking.

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Besides, intense selling in Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and Kotak Bank counters also hit investor sentiments, traders said.

After hitting its lifetime high on Friday, the 30-share BSE index fell 216.28 points or 0.34 per cent to settle at 63,168.30. During the day, it declined 336.75 points or 0.53 per cent to 63,047.83.

The NSE Nifty went lower by 70.55 points or 0.37 per cent to end at 18,755.45. The index registered its lifetime peak of 18,826 on Friday.

There was accelerated selling, particularly in the afternoon trade, dragging the key indices from record highs.

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“Indian equities shied away from closing at all-time high levels amid profit-booking, primarily driven by private banks. Global markets also took a breather after a strong rally last week as investors looked forward to China’s rate decision and the Fed chair’s testimony,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Kotak Mahindra Bank was the biggest loser from the Sensex pack, skidding 1.83 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, NTPC, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries, HCL Technologies, IndusInd Bank and Nestle.

In contrast, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Tech Mahindra, Tata Consultancy Services, Titan, Infosys, HDFC Bank, HDFC and ITC were the gainers.

“Risk-off sentiment prevailed in local markets, as sell-off in global equity markets triggered profit-taking in banking, auto, telecom and FMCG stocks.

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“Although India’s macroeconomic indicators seem to be on the right path, global headwinds would fuel bouts of selling at regular intervals,” Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd, said.

Among the indices, telecommunication fell by 1.34 per cent, power dipped by 0.90 per cent, realty (0.85 per cent), utilities (0.89 per cent), bankex (0.84 per cent), commodities (0.56 per cent), FMCG (0.55 per cent) and auto (0.52 per cent).

Bouts of buying were, however, seen in IT, teck, industrial, metal and healthcare sector stocks that capped the losses to some extent.

In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge dipped 0.08 per cent, while the smallcap index climbed 0.24 per cent.

“Global shares drifted lower on Monday, as investors were left disappointed by a lack of policy announcements from China post a State Council meeting on Friday aimed at kickstarting the ailing economy.

“Investors also awaited testimony from US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in markets that remain dominated by monetary policy bets,” Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities, said.

In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong ended lower.

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

Global oil benchmark Brent crude declined 0.38 per cent to USD 76.31 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought equities worth Rs 794.78 crore on Friday, according to exchange data.

The BSE benchmark zoomed 466.95 points or 0.74 per cent to settle at a record closing high of 63,384.58 on Friday. The Nifty climbed 137.90 points or 0.74 per cent to end at its lifetime peak of 18,826.

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