Stocks open the week lower

Written by Markets Bureau | Mumbai, May 20 | Updated: May 22 2008, 04:44am hrs
Equities on Tuesday reversed its gains last week as investors prompted by weak global cues booked profit and the fears of rising inflation and oil prices loomed. The Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened with a negative gap, touched a low of 17,136.26 points, and closed the day at 17,230.18. The 30-share index lost 204 points, or 1.17%. The broader Nifty of the National Stock exchange (NSE) lost 52.75 points, or 1.02%, to end at 5,104.95 points.

Alex Mathew, head of the research centre at Geojit Financial Services Ltd, said, "Surging crude oil prices and weak Asian and European markets are the major reasons (for the fall). Technical indicators suggest overbought situations, which can cause an intensified sell-off in the coming days." Banking, realty, public sector, and pharmaceutical stocks were on the receiving end on Tuesday. But consumer durables and select metal stocks bucked the negative trend. The BSE Consumer Durable (CD) index posted the highest gains, adding 123.57 points, or 2.70%, to end the day at 4,706.29 points. The BSE Bankex lost the most, dipping 177.43 points, or 1.98%, before closing the day at 8,763.85 points. Negative news also came from foreign institutional investors (FIIs), which were buyers in the last week but turned sellers on Tuesday of Rs 320.50 crore worth of Indian equities. Domestic institutional investors were marginal buyers at Rs 0.39 crore.

The overall market breadth remained slightly positive, with around 1,431 stocks advancing and 1,292 stocks declining and around 66 stocks remaining unchanged at the BSE.