The Sensex recorded its first drop in five sessions on Monday, edging down 33 points, after investors took profit and adopted a cautious line before the Economic Survey and the Union budget amid weak global leads. The Economic Survey is due to be released on Tuesday and thebudget on Wednesday.
A lower closing in Asia and a muted opening in Europe amid concerns over President Donald Trump's controversial immigration move induced fear, traders said. The 30-share barometer opened a shade lower and settled down 32.90 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 27,849.56. The index had risen 847.96 points in the past four sessions.
The 50-share NSE Nifty too dropped 8.50 points, or 0.10 per cent, at 8,632.75. Intra-day, it traded between 8,617.75 and 8,662.60. The uptrend in the previous four sessions came on the backof fresh foreign inflows and enthusiasm of domestic investors amid optimism ahead of the budget and on better-than-estimated earnings by several banks and other companies. Tata Motors took the biggest hit, plunging 2.18 per cent, followed by Tata Steel (1.56 per cent).
ONGC, SBI, Hero Moto Corp, Bajaj Auto, NTPC, TCS, Coal India, HDFC Bank, ITC Ltd, ICICI Bank, M&M, Maruti Suzuki,HUL, Wipro, Adani Ports and Axis Bank lost too. The country's largest mortgage lender, HDFC Ltd, alsoended 0.13 per cent down at Rs 1,368.90 despite a 12.80 percent increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 2,728.66 crorefor the third quarter ended December.
Aditya Birla group's Idea Cellular zoomed by more than 25per cent after global telecom giant Vodafone today said it isin discussion with the company to merge its India mobile business. Out of the 30, 19 Sensex stocks ended with losses, but 11rose, keeping the fall in check. Among gainers, Bharti Airtel, RIL, Sun Pharma, AsianPaints, Infosys, Dr Reddy's, Lupin, GAIL and L&T rose by upto 7.48 per cent.
It was a lacklustre trade at other Asian markets, withmost being closed for a public holiday. Japan's Nikkei declined 0.51 per cent. Elsewhere in Europe, shares were down in early trade, with London's FTSE falling 0.71 per cent, Paris CAC 40 0.78 percent and Frankfurt 0.57 per cent. Speaking sectorally, the BSE auto index got muchhammering, down 0.88 per cent, followed by banking 0.76 percent, PSU 0.69 per cent and power 0.58 per cent.
Broader markets painted a mixed picture. The mid-cap index firmed up 0.28 per cent while small-cap finished 0.32 per cent down. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net purchased shares to the tune of Rs 211.77 crore on Friday, as per provisional data.