Stocks took a breather today after three sessions of gains, with the Sensex slipping below the key 35,000-level due to a heavy selling mainly in banking and healthcare counters amid unabated foreign fund outflows and subdued global cues. Moreover, fresh weakness in the rupee against the dollar too aggravated the woes.
The BSE Sensex, after opening higher at 35,213.14, advanced to hit a high of 35,234.14 on buying by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) as well as retail participants. However, investors preferred to lock in gains towards the middle of the session, with the benchmark finally ending at 34,949.24, down 216.24 points, or 0.61 per cent. It touched a low of 34,922.18.
The gauge had risen 820.57 points in the previous three sessions. Likewise, the 50-stock NSE Nifty finished 55.35 points, or 0.52 per cent, down at 10,633.30 after hitting the day's high of 10,717.25 and a low of 10,616.10. Despite a strong start to trade, key benchmark indices retreated sharply from their higher levels following bouts of profit-taking amid fresh weakness in the rupee against the dollar. The rupee depreciated by 57 paise to Rs 68 (intra-day) against the dollar at the forex market today.