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Sensex falls 133 points ahead of key RBI meet

The 30-stock Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex (BSE) fell 133 points, pulled down by HUL and ICICI Bank which posted their quarterly results on Friday, as cautious investors booked profits ahead of the RBI monetary policy review meeting next week and a weak trend in equity markets globally. Top heavyweight RIL was also down sharply.

The Sensex, which gained 49 points on Thursday, fell 133.29 points (0.71 per cent) to end the week's trading at 18,625.34 led by stocks of consumer durables, FMCG and banks.

The National Stock Exchange's (NSE) 50-stock index, Nifty, was down 41 points (0.72 per cent) to 5,443.30.

Brokers said selling was more pronounced in banking and interest-related stocks ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy on 30 October.

A weak Asian trend and lower openings in Europe propelled selling. Investors were also seen reducing their positions following corporate results by bluechips in domestic as well as overseas markets.Shares of State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) dropped on concerns of a potential increase in bad loans in the July-September quarter.

HUL was down 2.14 per cent although its net profit rose by 17.12 per cent to Rs 806.92 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2012 over the same period previous fiscal. ICICI Bank was down 0.73 per cent. Its net profit was up 20 per cent at Rs 2,390.37 crore in the second quarter of current fiscal.Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) dropped by 1.39 per cent, Infosys by 0.69 per cent and Cipla by 1.84 per cent.

Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea closed lower between 1.21 and 1.76 per cent.

European stocks too were trading weak in the afternoon deals on concerns over the company earnings.

Standard & Poor's reportedly downgraded BNP Paribas SA and other 10 France banks which also kept market under pressure.
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