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Sensex snaps 5-day winning run as bulls take a breather; IT, consumption stocks skid

Mumbai: Market benchmarks snapped their five-session rising streak to close modestly lower on Wednesday as investors booked profits in IT, FMCG and finance counters amid weak global cues.

After swinging 599 points in a volatile session, the 30-share BSE Sensex finished 58.81 points, or 0.16 per cent, lower at 37,871.52.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty slipped 29.65 points, or 0.27 per cent, to close at 11,132.60.

HUL was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 3.06 per cent, a day after the FMCG major posted a 5.68 per cent rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 1,897 crore for the June quarter. The company also said it expects a couple of turbulent quarters going forward amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Tata Steel, Maruti, IndusInd Bank, Infosys, L&T, TCS and Asian Paints were the other laggards, dropping up to 2.51 per cent.

On the other hand, Axis Bank, Titan, PowerGrid, NTPC, ITC and Reliance Industries were among the gainers, spurting as much as 7.36 per cent.

According to traders, besides stock-specific action, market succumbed to profit-booking at higher levels. Weak cues from global markets also kept investors cautious.

Global equities faltered following a spike in US-China tensions after Washington abruptly asked Beijing to close the Chinese consulate in Houston.

Bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended in the red, while Shanghai settled on a positive note.

Stock exchanges Europe were trading with significant losses in early deals as investor focus shifted to mounting COVID-19 cases.

"Indian indices exhibited volatility and closed in the negative, in sync with negative global cues. The spike in US-China tensions hit the global markets while a surge in virus infections globally also impacted sentiment.

"Domestically, the private banking space gained on the back of earnings numbers from Axis Bank. However, Auto, IT and PSU Banks led the losses. Volatility is expected to continue due to expiry day tomorrow," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

BSE IT, auto, capital goods, teck, realty, industrials, oil and gas, FMCG and metal indices fell up to 1.41 per cent. Consumer durables, utilities, power, energy and bankex rose as much as 2.25 per cent.

Broader BSE mid-cap index rose 0.19 per cent, while the small-cap gauge tumbled 0.23 per cent.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 0.74 per cent to USD 43.99 per barrel.

In the forex market, the rupee pared settled on a flat note at 74.75 against the US dollar.

India added 37,724 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, taking the country's tally to 11,92,915, while the death count neared the 29,000-mark.

Globally, coronavirus cases have crossed 1.5 crore, with more than 6.16 lakh fatalities.

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