Mumbai, March 20 (IANS) Broadly negative global cues and heavy selling pressure witnessed in IT, banking and metal stocks dragged the Indian equity markets lower on Monday.
The key indices traded in the red during the mid-afternoon trade session, as investors took to book profits.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 34.35 points or 0.37 per cent to 9,125.70 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 29,653.54 points, traded at 29,511.68 points (at 12.40 p.m.) — down 137.31 points or 0.46 per cent from the previous close at 29,648.99 points.
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 29,699.48 points and a low of 29,482.40 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was marginally bearish — with 1,370 declines and 1,229 advances.
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls: “The CNX nifty traded with bearish sentiments due to profit booking at higher levels.”
“IT sector stocks traded with bearish sentiments due to profit booking, while banking, pharma, auto, oil-gas, media-entertainment and FMCG stocks traded with mixed sentiments,” Desai said.
“Textile, power and cement sector stocks traded with firm sentiments due to buying support.”
Last week, the equity markets closed with marginal gains and the benchmark NSE Nifty hit another record intra-day high crossing the psychologically significant 9,200-mark for the first time.
The Nifty closed slightly up by 6.35 points or 0.07 per cent at 9,160.05 points, while the Sensex closed at 29,648.99 points — up 63.14 points or 0.21 per cent.