Samvat 2068 ended on a subdued note on Monday as the BSE benchmark Sensex lost 13.3 points to close at 18,670.34 on selling over sticky retail-level inflation, weak industrial output and record-high trade deficit. The index has gained 1,415 points, or 8.2 per cent, since the last Diwali on October 25, 2011.
The Sensex, which had lost 219 points in the past two days, resumed a tad higher but moved in a narrow range of over 140 points before concluding 13.34 points lower at 18,670.34 ó extending the string of losses to three straight days. Last year, the Sensex shrugged off the Reserve Bank of Indiaís hike in lending rates and shot up 316 points to 17,254.86.
Dealers said investors were seen adjusting their portfolios ahead of a special ĎMuhuratí trading on Diwali tomorrow, followed by a holiday on Wednesday. The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty eased by 2.55 points, or 0.04 per cent to close at 5,683.70. Consumer durables, banking and realty shares attracted buying while metal and capital goods stocks ended lower.
The sentiment remained bearish on the last day of Samvat 2068 on an unexpected 0.4 per cent contraction in September industrial output, marginally high consumer price index at 9.75 per cent and trade deficit widening to an all-time high of $20.96 billion as October exports fell to $23.2 billion.
A mixed trend in Asian region and lower opening in Europe on earning concerns further soured the market sentiment.
Gold, silver up
MUMBAI: Gold prices climbed to nearly two-month high in the domestic bullion market on Monday on consistent Diwali demand from traders and retailers. Standard gold (99.5 purity) rose by Rs 250 per 10 grams to close at Rs 31,900. Silver also soared to retain Rs 62,000 level on heavy offtake by speculators as well as industrial demand. PTI