Late selling pushes down Sensex
MUMBAI, JAN. 1. Equities turned weak after initial firmness, pushing the Sensex in negative territory at close on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) today due to late selling by operators as well as public investors.
The BSE benchmark 30-share index that had risen to the intra-day high at 3299.98 at around midsession, later fell back to close at 3246.15 against yesterday's close of 3262.33, netting a fall of 16.18 points.
The broad-based BSE-100 index also eased by 4.35 points to 1552.87 from the previous close of 1557.22.
Blaming the dramatic turnaround after midsession on rumours that the chairman of Himachal Futuristic (HFCL) was arrested in connection with non-payment of UTI loan, market sources said initially the market had shown strong signs of consistency in the recovery process in the light of receding war fears with the Prime Minister Mr. Vajpayee talking about peace with Pakistan in his new year's day message.The rumours of arrest circulated after reports that HFCL had informed the BSE that the company had decided not to declare dividend in view of objections raised by institutional shareholders, sources added.
Institutional investors were nearly sidelined with both domestic institutions as well as foreign institutional investors who made good purchases yesterday, slowed down activity.Speculators and investors offloaded morning positions after the rumours.
The recently favoured second-line new economy shares were the worst sufferers on speculative selling.
In the specified group, 103 including 18 index-based counters registered losses while 67 others closed with gains.
The BSE-200 index and the Dollex-200 were quoted fractionally down at 340.37 and 117.47 against 341.25 and 117.92 respectively.
The BSE-500 index softened to 1002.93 from 1005.82. The Dollex-30 moved down to 552.46 from 555.91.
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