- BSE Sensex retreats from highs, top gainer Tata Power, Hero MotoCorp shares fallIndian rupee trims early gains against dollar, still up 23 paiseBSE Sensex continues retreat from 3-year closing high, Gail India, Cipla shares top gainersBSE Sensex regains psychological 21,000 level after a gap of almost 3 yrs
retreated on Thursday from a near three-year high of above 21,000 on profit-taking, with software exporters including Tata Consultancy Services taking the brunt of the selling.
The BSE Sensex touched 21,039.42 before slipping in the red for the day. The last time it was above 21,000 was on Nov. 8, 2010. The index's all-time high is 21,206.77, hit in January 2008.
Shares have benefited from a return of global risk appetite as poor U.S. data has pushed back expectations of any tapering of the Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus until 2014.
Foreign investors have continued to buy local shares, remaining net buyers for a 14th consecutive session. Provisional exchange data showed a net purchase of 6.44 billion rupees ($104.55 million) on Wednesday, bringing the total to about 117.34 billion rupees during that period.
However, investors are also taking the opportunity to book profits especially on recent outperformers.
"India's economic fundamentals are not supporting the market, allocations just due to global factors are not justified. At some point that money will also find it difficult to allocate further," said Aneesh Srivastava, chief investment officer at IDBI Federal Life Insurance.
Beyond 21,000 valuations become very difficult to justify, Srivastava added.
The focus is now on the central bank's policy review on Oct. 29, at which it is expected to raise its key rate by 25 basis points. Five key states are also slated to go for elections in November and December, ahead of general elections due by May.
The benchmark BSE index fell 0.2 percent, or 42.45 points, to end at 20,725.43, after earlier rising as much as 1.3 percent.
The broader NSE index fell 0.23 percent, or 14 points, to end at 6,164.35, falling for a third consecutive session.
In IT shares, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd fell 2.5 percent, Wipro Ltd lost 4.4 percent, while Infosys Ltd ended 0.5 percent lower on profit taking.
The NSE index for IT shares had risen 44.8 percent in 2013 compared with the NSE index's returns of 4.4 percent as of Wednesday's close.
Among other blue chip companies, Reliance Industries fell 1.4 percent after gaining as much as 1.6 percent earlier in the day.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd fell