Sensex breaches 50k-mark, ends lower on profit-booking

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Global oil benchmark Brent crude slipped 0.89 per cent to USD 55.58 per barrel

MUMBAI, Jan 21 (PTI): The BSE Sensex scaled the 50,000-mark for the first time on Thursday on growth optimism and global cues, but succumbed to profit-booking in fag-end trade to finish in the red. Weighed by selling in banking, finance and IT counters, the 30-share BSE index ended 167.36 points or 0.34 per cent lower at 49,624.76.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 54.35 points or 0.37 per cent to close at 14,590.35. ONGC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 4 per cent, followed by Bharti Airtel, SBI, IndusInd Bank, NTPC, Sun Pharma and ITC.

On the other hand, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Auto, Reliance Industries (RIL), Bajaj Finserv and Asian Paints were among the gainers, climbing up to 2.72 per cent. Market heavyweight RIL spurted 2.09 per cent after stock exchanges cleared Future Retail’s Rs 24,713 crore deal to sell its retail assets to the billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate, with certain riders.

“Sensex at 50,000 is great news not only for the market and investors but for the economy also. Markets are barometers of the economy with the potential to discount the future. If this is true, the Indian economy is on a strong recovery path. If the recovery in growth and corporate earnings, currently underway in India, gathers momentum, the markets may further surprise on the upside.

“But it is important to appreciate that the market is overvalued from the short- term perspective. At high levels, the market is vulnerable to a correction. Investors can utilise the current euphoria to get rid of low-grade stocks from the portfolio,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Sector-wise, the BSE telecom, realty, metal and healthcare indices lost up to 2.64 per cent, while consumer durables, energy and capital goods finished higher. Global markets ticked higher after Joe Biden was sworn in as the US President, with investors wagering on fresh stimulus by the new administration.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo ended in the positive zone, while Hong Kong closed in the red. Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a mixed note in early deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude slipped 0.89 per cent to USD 55.58 per barrel.

Extending its gains for the third straight session, the rupee added another 6 paise to settle at a near five-month high of 72.99 against the US dollar. Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 2,289.05 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.

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