Investors were seen cautious amid negative factors like contraction in industrial output and higher inflation and disappointing quarter earnings by leading companies. (File/PTI)
The first trading session of Samvat 2069 ended on a weak note as the BSE benchmark Sensex erased early gains to close nearly 52 points lower at 18,618.87 in the special 75-minute Diwali 'Muhurat' trading today after investors preferred to book profits to start new accounts. After lifting the Sensex nearly 60 points to 18,732.71 at the outset, the momentum quickly evaporated on profit selling and weak global market trends. The 30-share Sensex closed 51.47 points, or 0.28 per cent, lower at 18,618.87. Out of the 30-share Sensex, 13 stocks including Bharti Airtel, RIL and ONGC gained while 17 counters including Tata Motors, HDFC, Infosys and SBI closed with losses. Investors were seen cautious amid negative factors like contraction in industrial output and higher inflation and disappointing quarter earnings by leading companies, said dealers. Brokers said a weak trend in overseas markets on reports of a dispute between international lenders threatening to further delay an aid payment to Greece, also influenced the Indian market. The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty declined by 16.75 points, or 0.29 per cent to 5,666.95 led by stocks of IT, realty and banking sectors. Indices had last closed with losses on Muhurat trading in 2007 when Sensex had slipped 150 points and Nifty by 36 points. Though there was no usual trading today, a special Muhurat trading was conducted on stock markets between 15.45 hrs to 17.00 hrs. Business volumes declined as investors made token transactions mostly of profit-booking nature on the first day of the Hindu calender year with a view to open new financial books with gains. Industrial production had declined by 0.4 per cent in September, as against growth of 2.5 per cent in the same month last year. Retail inflation also rose marginally to 9.75 per cent in October, from 9.73 per cent in September.