The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Markets cool off in last lap

Mumbai, Oct. 14: Shares slipped off their 39-month peak as investors booked profits and snapped the 11-day winning streak on bourses in a choppy session that saw the BSE sensex end with a 67-point loss at 4,782.03. They were just 150 points away from the 5,000-mark on Monday.

What stood out was the mind-boggling volumes: a staggering Rs 6000 crore in the National Stock Exchange’s cash segment and Rs 2700 crore on Dalal Street.

Old economy stocks bore the brunt of the sale even as the dash for shares by foreign funds has driven up the sensex 12.8 per cent in 11 days. So unprecedented has been the scale of their investment that Rs 517.8 crore was poured in on Monday and Rs 440.6 crore today.

Dealers say FIIs have never had a double-barrelled gain of the kind they are now scooping up. Rarely, if ever, has a rupee rise been accompanied by a surge in stocks. The bonanza has goaded them into buying shares worth Rs 2560 crore in the first eight sessions of this month, including deals of Rs 518 crore made last Friday.

The mood was strong when business began this morning on a positive note. The course was reversed when bouts of profit-booking by local institutions intensified into a larger selling spree. Unit Trust of India and Life Insurance Corporation were among the those that offloaded many old-economy stocks, dealers said. The bursts of buying could not keep indices from sliding.

The sensex moved sharply and intra-day swing was almost 135 points, a sign of the nerves. However, it was the record volumes that proved to be the high-point of the day: 20.3 crore shares changed hands, the highest this month. This was a sharp increase from 16.8 crore on Monday.

Among the index heavyweights, the main losers were Reliance Industries, whose results are due on Thursday. The stock tumbled Rs 14.45 to Rs 466.85. Others on the way down were State Bank, which lost Rs 18.55 to Rs 474.15 and Tata Motors, which ended Rs 18.80 lower at Rs 367.15 and Tata Steel which shed Rs 15.35 at Rs 326.15.

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