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The BSE benchmark Sensex today fell for second straight day and ended 135.52 points down at a one-week low of 25,991.23 as investors booked profits in metal, oil&gas and realty shares after the recent rally.
Trading activity was also sluggish ahead tomorrow's holiday and monthly expiry in derivatives on Thursday.
Stock markets opened on a better note with the 30-scrip BSE Sensex touching the day's high of 26,181.83 points in early trade. It later slipped below the 26,000-mark on across the board profit booking by participants and closed 135.52 points, or 0.52 per cent, down at 25,991.23. Intra-day, it had touched a low of 25.900.25.
Today's Sensex closing is the weakest since 25,715.17 on July 21, 2014. On Friday, it had shed 145.10 points, snapping a record 8-day upmove in which the Sensex rose over 5 percent.
Strong selling pressure was seen in sectors like realty, metals, oil & gas, PSUs, auto, banking and capital goods.
Stocks of FMCG major Hindustan Unilever gained 3.69 per cent after the company today reported increase in standalone net profit at Rs 1,056.85 crore for the June quarter.
Among others counters that saw earnings today, shares of Persistent Systems and Bank of Baroda closed higher while JK Cement, Havells India and Dabur edged lower.
"Profit booking was seen at higher levels in most of the index heavyweights. Market breadth was negative, and volumes were lower than the last session," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
Advance/decline ratio was inclined towards losers as over 1,650 stocks ended down while about 1,200 scrips rose.
Meanwhile, the 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange lost 41.75 points, or 0.54 per cent, to settle at a one-week low of 7,748.70 in its second day of declines. During the session, Nifty shuttled between 7,799.90 and 7,722.65.
Among major losers, Coal India suffered the most by plunging over 3 per cent, the most in three weeks.
Sectorally, the BSE Realty sector index suffered the most by losing 2.69 per cent, followed by Metal index 1.51 per cent, Oil & gas index 1.29 per cent, PSU Index 1.07 per cent and Auto index 0.78 per cent.
Bucking the trend, Consumer Durables index rose 0.57 per cent, FMCG index 0.38 per cent and IT index 0.37 per cent.
Globally, trend in other Asian markets remained firm and the European markets were