Stocks cautious before FDI vote

Mumbai, Dec. 3 (PTI): The BSE benchmark Sensex today fell over 34 points from its 19-month high to close at 19305.32 as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of the key vote on FDI in Parliament and mixed trends from the global stock markets.

After gaining over 833 points last week, the Sensex's biggest weekly gains since November 2011, traders said investors booked profits ahead of the voting on the FDI issue.

HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel, GAIL and ONGC were among the top losers in the Sensex today, while Bhel, SBI, Tata Steel and RIL helped to cushion the fall.

Market participants also appeared to ignore Morgan Stanley raising India's growth forecast for fiscal 2013 to 5.4 per cent from 5.1 per cent projected earlier. Selling was seen in front-line stocks, while second-line stocks attracted good buying support.

The Sensex initially showed some strength but turned negative soon after. It moved in a narrow range, mostly in negative terrain, to settle at 19305.32, a fall of 34.58 points, or 0.18 per cent.

The 50-issue SandP CNX Nifty of the NSE eased 8.90 points, or 0.15 per cent, to close at 5870.95.