Equity benchmark Sensex retreated from its lifetime high to close 135 points lower Thursday as investors booked profits at higher levels amid weak global cues. After rising to an intra-day record of 39,487.45 points, the 30-share index turned negative to settle 135.36 points, or 0.34 per cent, lower at 39,140.28. The broader NSE Nifty slipped 34.35 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 11,752.80. The benchmark indices had closed at record highs on Tuesday on earnings optimism and forecast of a near-normal monsoon. Markets were closed Wednesday for Mahavir Jayanti. "After a period of significant momentum ahead of the general elections, the market may take a pause in some kind of an interim profit-booking," said Joseph Thomas-Head Research, Emkay Wealth Management. "The accelerating scenario of a slowdown in global growth as also the definitive prospects of higher fuel prices and a weaker currency may also be working on the minds of the market participants at this juncture, he added.
Top losers in the Sensex pack included Yes Bank, Vedanta, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, L&T, SBI, NTPC, Kotak Bank, HDFC, HDFC Bank, PowerGrid, Infosys and ITC, falling up to 4.18 per cent. On the other hand, RIL was the biggest gainer on the index, rising 2.79 per cent ahead of its Q4 results. Tata Motors, Asian Paints, TCS, Coal India, Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank and HUL also ended in the green, rising up to 2.32 per cent. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased equity worth a net Rs 1,038.58 crore on Tuesday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares to the tune of Rs 37.22 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Japan, China and Korea ended in the red. In Europe, bourses in Germany, France and the UK were trading on a mixed note in early deals. Global crude oil benchmark Brent futures fell 0.17 per cent to USD 71.50 per barrel. Meanwhile, the Indian rupee appreciated 5 paise to 69.55 against the US dollar intra-day.