Mumbai, Oct. 20: Dalal Street today stumbled on the last leg of the climb to 5,000 points as profit seekers swooped down to make a killing on their shares before the markets are propelled into a new orbit soon. The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensex lost 79 points at 4851.67.
“It was a case of so near, yet so far,” lamented Arun Kejriwal of Kejriwal Research & Investment Services. National Stock Exchange, which clocks 98 per cent of the derivative volumes, today saw the tide recede due to a selloff triggered by the hike in margins on top 10 shares. The broad-based BSE-100 index dipped 55.13 points to end at 2461.41 compared with its last close of 2516.54.
“This had a cascading effect on the cash segment as many investors reduced their exposure to escape paying the margins, which have gone up almost two fold on some scrips,” a dealer affiliated to a key brokerage said. Reports that retail margins for oil firms will be capped fuelled selling in petroleum shares.
The markets opened on a strong note and operators expected the sensex to shoot past 5000 in the afternoon. “The markets have gone up in a straight line,” said Sandip Sabharwal, a fund manager at SBI Mutual Fund. If foreign funds continue to invest the $ 120 million a day that they have doing so far, it is difficult for the markets to remain in the negative territory for long. He cited instances in recent months when shares sizzled despite selling by local institutions and mutual funds.
Overseas investors had shovelled over $ 1 billion in stocks till this evening, the first time that their investment in a month has crossed the one-billion mark. Their net inflows this year stand at $4.02 billion compared with $739.7 million in all the 12 months of 2002.
There were 1,024 gainers against 603 losers on BSE, whose volume at 17.3 crore shares was marginally lower than 19 crore on Friday. Reliance Industries surrendered Rs 8.25 at Rs 480.85, State Bank Rs 10.10 at Rs 487.35 and Infosys Rs 129.50 at Rs 4608.50. Satyam, slated to announce its results soon, saw its share decline by Rs 4.15 to Rs 305.25. Tata Motors skid Rs 19.35 at Rs 364.45 and Tisco slipped Rs 11.70 to Rs 344.25.