Sensex sheds 39 points, closes at 19,007.53

Mumbai, Jan 21 (PTI) IT and metal stocks took a beatingon Dalal Street today, but the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensexwas cushioned from a severe fall by a smart rise in oil andgas and banking blue-chips and closed just 39 points down.

The 30-share Sensex fell by 39.01 points to 19,007.53 ina volatile session where it touched an intra-day low of18,932.40 and a high of 19,065.34. It had gained 68 points inthe previous session.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange Niftyindex lost 15.10 points to 5,696.50 after moving between5,717.55 and 5,674.50.

Brokers said the Sensex fell by 4.2 per cent during theweek ended January 21. The barometer has lost around 10 percent since it touched a peak of 21,004.96 on November 5.

Wipro, the third-largest software services provider fellnearly 4.5 per cent to Rs 456.05 today, even though thecompany posted a 9.60 per cent rise in third quarter profit toRs 1,318.8 crore.

The IT sector index suffered the most, losing 1.29 percent to 6,630.33, followed by the FMCG index, which fell by1.28 per cent to 3,542.86. The tech index also lost ground andfell by 1.02 per cent to 3,890.01 and the metal index by 0.73per cent to 16,734.02.

Among the major losers in the Sensex pack, IT bellwetherInfosys slid by Rs 44 to Rs 3,245.10 during today''s trade.

Market analysts said the two firms were punished because theirresults were below the expectations on the street.

Metal stocks also registered a decline on reports of aweakening trend in base metal prices in international marketsand fears that any hike in interest rates would effect growth.

The losses were capped by a Rs 16.75 rise in RelianceIndustries'' scrip to Rs 986.50 after a six-day losing streak.

In addition, a 0.78 per cent rise in the oil and gassector index to 9,745.48 and a 0.77 per cent jump in the bankindex to 12,348.97 kept the Sensex above the crucial 19,000points mark.

Investors were seen parking their funds in lower pricedstocks ahead of the RBI monetary policy meet next week. Thesmallcap index rose by 0.46 per cent to 8,946.17 and themidcap index by 0.22 per cent to 7,191.87 today.

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