Sensex opens 31 points lower on profit-booking

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Mumbai, Feb 17 (PTI) The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmarkSensex fell by over 31 points in opening trade today asinvestors locked in gains registered during the previous foursessions.

The 30-share barometer, which rallied by nearly 840points the previous four sessions, slid by 31.16 points to18,269.74 points in the first few minutes of trade as realty,oil and gas and capital goods stocks succumbed toprofit-booking.

In a similar fashion, the wide-based National StockExchange Nifty index declined by 7.90 points to 5,473.80points.

Brokers said profit-booking by market participants,following a near 4.6 per cent rise in the Sensex during thepast four sessions, influenced the trading sentiment.

They also said investors were adopting a cautiousapproach ahead of the Union Budget for the 2011-12 financialyear.

Stocks of Reliance Communications fell by 1.25 per centto Rs 98.45 after its chief, Anil Ambani, appeared at CBIheadquarters in connection with the probe into the 2G scam.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng index was up by 0.17per cent, while Japan''s Nikkei gained 0.69 per cent in earlytrade today. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.50per cent higher in yesterday''s trade.

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