Stock markets came off their peak and turned weak today after three back-to-back sessions of gains as the benchmark Sensex slipped in view of April derivatives expiry. Besides, weak Asian cues weighed on sentiment. Investors are looking forward to US President Donald Trump’s plan for the US tax system.
The 30-share index hit yet another record high (Intraday) of 30,184.22 points, but slumped to quote down 32.44 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 30,100.91 as profit-booking set in. The gauge had gained 768.05 points in the previous three sessions.
Maruti Suzuki was trading lower by 0.15 per cent at Rs 6,397.50 as cautious investors cut down their bets ahead of the quarterly earnings to be released later in the day.
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BSE indices led by metal, oil and gas, bank, PSU and capital goods declined. The NSE Nifty was lower by 9.90 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 9,341.95 after rising to 9,363.40 in the beginning.
Squaring-up of positions by participants — today being the last trading session of April series contracts in the derivatives segment — and weak Asian cues dampened sentiment here. Major losers were Axis Bank, Lupin, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, Asia Paints, HDFC and ITC, falling by up to 1.60 per cent.
Among other Asian markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.16 per cent while Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.68 per cent in early trade. Japan’s Nikkei too was down 0.24 per cent. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.10 per cent lower yesterday.
The rupee gained 13 paise to trade at fresh 21-month high of 63.98 against the dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange amid sustained selling of the greenback by exporters and banks. Forex dealers said that apart from weakness in the dollar against other currencies overseas, robust foreign fund inflows supported the rupee but weakness in domestic equities in early trade capped the gains.
Yesterday, in line with a spectacular rally in equities, the rupee had surged by 15 paise to close at a near 21-month high of 64.11, energised by positive global cues. This was the highest closing for the rupee since August 2015.