Sensex snaps 3-day winning run as profit-booking takes hold; HDFC twins top drags

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Mumbai, May 19 (PTI) Market benchmark Sensex succumbed to selling pressure on Wednesday as investors cashed in gains after a three-session rally, with banking and finance shares leading the selloff.

A bearish trend in global markets and a depreciating rupee added to the selling momentum, traders said.

Giving up the 50,000 mark, the 30-share BSE index ended 290.69 points or 0.58 per cent lower at 49,902.64. On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty fell 77.95 points or 0.52 per cent to close at 15,030.15.

Bajaj Finserv was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding 1.68 per cent, followed by HDFC, M&M, Bharti Airtel, UltraTech Cement, Kotak Bank and HDFC Bank.

On the other hand, Sun Pharma, Nestle India, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Auto and Axis Bank were among the gainers, spurting up to 1.82 per cent.

'The recent sharp rally has triggered some caution for the near-term. The global market was tentative ahead of the announcement of Fed minutes, this was mirrored in the domestic market, though it is not expected to hawkish.

'Optimism gained from declining COVID cases resisted a sharp correction in domestic market,' said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

India added 2.67 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases in a day, though fatalities touched a record 4,529, pushing the coronavirus death toll to 2,83,248, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

Sector-wise, BSE telecom, metal, finance, auto and bankex lost up to 1.16 per cent, while realty, power, healthcare and utilities indices closed higher.

In the broader markets, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices outperformed the benchmark, climbing up to 0.53 per cent.

Global equities struggled as elevated commodity prices stoked inflation fears.

In Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Tokyo ended on a negative note. Markets in Europe too were trading with losses in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.96 per cent lower at USD 67.36 per barrel.

Halting its three-day winning run, the rupee declined by 13 paise to close at 73.18 against the US dollar.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital markets, as they purchased shares worth Rs 618.49 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional data. PTI ANS ABM ABM