In a volatile trade, the benchmark Sensex on Monday fell over 65 points to hit an over one-month low of 28,437.71 on profit-booking in metal, FMCG, oil & gas and power stocks ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy meet.
The 30-share Sensex after hitting a session high of 28,581.82 in early trade, subsequently succumbed to profit-booking in heavyweight stocks and slipped into the negative zone as it hit a low of 28,384.09.
However, gains in realty, IT, teck, healthcare, banking and consumer durables shares cushioned the fall in the Sensex that settled with a fall of 65.59 points, or 0.23 per cent, at one-month low of 28,437.71.
The gauge had lost 427.11 points in the previous session in Friday’s close after the rise in retail inflation dampened hopes of aggressive rate cuts by the RBI.
Also, the National Stock Exchange index Nifty ended 14.60 points, or 0.17 per cent, down at 8,633.15 after touching a high of 8,663.55 and a low of 8,612 intra-day.
Market has turned volatile ahead of the Fed decision, the RBI’s policy next month and company earnings for the March quarter, stock brokers said.
Selling pressure was visible across-the-board despite the successful coal and spectrum auctions and passage of Insurance Bill in Parliament, they added.
Globally, Asian markets ended mixed as investors await developments from Bank of Japan and US Federal Reserve meetings this week European markets were up in their opening trade.
During the day, government data showed Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation for February dipped (-) 2.06 per cent as prices of good articles, manufactured items and fuel products fell during the month.
This is the fourth month in a row that WPI-based inflation remained in the negative zone.
Stocks of Sesa Sterlite suffered the most among Sensex constituents by plunging 5.16 per cent, while Hindalco finished 3.64 per cent.
Others which dragged down the indices included Bharti Airtel, NTPC, HDFC Ltd, GAIL, Dr Reddy, ITC Ltd, Hind Unilever, RIL, Cipla, L&T, M&M, TCS, ONGC and Maruti Suzuki.
Infosys, however, gained the most by rising 2.28 per, followed by Sun Pharma, Tata Power, BHEL, Wipro, HDFC Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, ICICI Bank, SBI and Tata Motors.
Sectorally, the BSE Metal index suffered the most by falling 1.49 per cent, followed by FMCG index (0.96 pc), Power index by (0.78 pc), Infrastructure index by (0.83 pc), Oil & Gas index (0.75 pc), Capital Goods index by (0.63 pc) and Auto index (0.20 pc).
Meanwhile, Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 66.98 crore last Friday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.