Sensex down by 72.91 points

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Mumbai, May 27: The sensitive index of the Bombay Stock Exchange today fell by 72.91 points to close at 16,275.59, extending the losses for the second straight day. After opening the day with a positive gap of over 106 points at 16,454.75, the Sensex touched a day's high at 16,506.35 on fresh buying interest in select pivotals in the mid-morning trade. But, it failed to hold the gains for long and slipped into deep red, dropped 110.58 points on selling pressure triggered by possible petroleum price hike in late trade.

Similarly, after a positive start, broader based Nifty index of National Stock Exchange finally closed with a loss of 15.25 points at 4,859.80 from previous close of 4,875.05, after touching a day's low at 4,846.20 in late trade. After trading positive, for most part of the day, markets witnessed sell-off in last hour of trade, as Ministry of Petroleum pushed hard to raise prices of petro products, Bonanza Portfolio Limited Preseident (Research) P K Agarwal said.

Satyam, Sterlite, Cipla and Tata Motors were in demand. Banking sector continued to drag the market. However, IT&Pharma provided some resistance in Nifty's southward journey, Mr Agarwal said adding, ''A level of 4840 is to be closely watched tomorrow, for support. On the upside 5000 remains a major resistance.'' The market breadth, which was firmly positive earlier in the day, turned negative as the session proceeded, with 922 shares advancing on BSE as compared to 1760 stocks that declined and 81 stocks remained unchanged.

The NSE's futures&options (F&O) segment turnover was at Rs 49,968.5 crore, higher than Rs 44,103.52 crore in the previous session. BSE clocked a turnover of Rs 5074 crore in the cash segment as against Rs 4,426.96, a day before.

The BSE Midcap index fell 1.21 pc to 6,678.91 and Smallcap index lost 1.30 pc to 8,210.08. Both the indices underperformed the Sensex. Housing Development Finance Corporation was down by 2.08 pc at Rs 2519.75, ONGC by 1.34 pc at Rs 884.35, HDFC Bank by 1.20pc at Rs 1331.30 and DLF was down 0.80pc at Rs 596.45, were the major losers.

Reliance Industries fell 1.25pc at Rs 2493.20.

The BSE Bankex underperformed the Sensex, falling 2.33pc at 7,754.64. Oriental Bank of Commerce was down 5.69 pc at Rs 183.20, Bank of India came down 4.90pc at Rs 304.50, Bank of Baroda down 4.80pc at Rs 261.75 and Axis Bank was down 2.96pc at Rs 740.40.

State Bank of India slumped 4.19pc at Rs 1473.30, on concern over bank's surprise hike of 25-50 basis points in deposit rates could put pressure on its operating profit margin in the short term.

ICICI Bank declined 1.71 pc at Rs 812.55.

UNI

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