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Sensex retreats from 6-week high, slides 253 points

SensexMarket benchmark Sensex slipped from its six-week high today by plunging 253.11 points to 24,551.17, while NSE Nifty cracked below the 7,500-mark on profit-booking in healthcare and FMCG stocks amid weak global cues.

The 30-share gauge after opening a shade higher, advanced to touch a high of 24,840.77 at the outset before profit- booking in recent gainers took hold, which pulled it down to a low of 24,517.28 and settled at 24,551.17, showing a loss of 253.11 points or 1.02 per cent. The gauge had gained 180.94 points in the previous two sessions.

Some weakness in the rupee too weighed on the sentiment.

The 50-share NSE Nifty broke below the crucial 7,500 level and settled lower by 78.15 points or 1.04 per cent at 7,460.60. Intra-day, it shuttled between 7,545.20 and 7,452.80.

Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 22 ended with losses while NTPC ended flat at Rs. 127.30.

Shares of Lupin melted the most, falling 7.59 per cent to Rs.1,726.60 after the company received nine observations relating to inadequacy and adherence to operating norms for its manufacturing plant in Goa from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Another pharma firm Pfizer continued to remain under pressure and fell by 3.15 per cent to Rs.1,705.30 amid concerns over ban on their popular drug products.

Others that contributed to the fall include HDFC, Dr Reddy’s, Cipla, Sun Pharma, ITC, Adani Ports, HUL, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, Wipro, TCS, GAIL, Infosys, Coal India, ONGC, M&M, L&T and ICICI Bank.

SBI, Tata Steel, Axis Bank, BHEL, Bharti Airtel, RIL and Maruti Suzuki, ended higher, thus cushioning the fall.

Sectorally, BSE healthcare index took the biggest knock, falling 3.01 per cent, followed by FMCG 1.54 per cent, teck 0.93 per cent, IT 0.85 per cent, auto 0.70 per cent, capital goods 0.22 per cent, power 0.19 per cent and realty 0.09 per cent.

In line with the overall trend, the broader markets also witnessed selling, with the mid-cap index declining 0.79 per cent and small—cap shedding 0.62 per cent.

European shares dropped in their early trade following weak Asian markets after the Bank of Japan painted a gloomy picture of the country’s economy.

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net Rs. 1,035.63 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.

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