Sensex slips into red after firm opening

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Mumbai, Jan 02: After marking a firm opening, the sensitive index at Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) slipped into red by shedding over 150 points on offloading in blue-chip pivotals in early trade.

The benchmark Sensex resumed the day on a firm note at 20,393.10, with a positive gap of over 90 points from its previous close of 20,300.71 on selective buying for index pivotals. However, it failed to sustain at higher levels and slipped into red later on sustained profit booking. BSE Mid-Cap and BSE Small-cap also skid in the negative zone. Similarly, the broader based Nifty at National Stock Exchange lost over 60 points after opening flat at 6,144.70 in the early trade.

The market breadth was strong on BSE with 2204 shares advancing as compared to 364 that declined while 25 remained unchanged. ITC jumped 2.57 per cent to Rs 223.20. The stock hit all-time high of Rs 227 in early trade today. As per recent reports, ITC's subsidiary Fortune Park Hotels plans to invest around Rs 130 crore in three or four hotels in Bangalore, Coimbatore and Kolkata. It was the top gainer from Sensex pack.

Frontline stocks like Reliance Industries, Hindustan Unilever, Grasim and ICICI Bank were trading with a marginal gain. Whereas HDFC Bank slipped 1.21 per cent to Rs 1710 and was the top loser from Sensex pack. Followed by Reliance Communications down 0.91 per cent, Bharat Heavy Electricals down 1.11 per cent and Ambuja Cements down 0.98 per cent, among the other losers from Sensex pack.

Among the side counters, UCO Bank was up 14.34 per cent, Atlanta 15 per cent up and Atlas Copco was up 11.12 per cent. Asian markets were trading lower today, as investors remained cautious, searching for fresh catalysts after most markets in the region outperformed in 2007. US market was closed on Tuesday, January 1, 2008, for the New Year holiday.


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