Sensex, clever dish; Computer shares testify to the reservation of profits

India’s equity benchmarks fell slightly on Thursday as investors posted profits after two days of strong gains in which both benchmarks jumped more than 3% in two sessions. Meanwhile, the weekly expiration of index futures and options contracts added to volatility, analysts said. The Sensex fell 151 points and the Nifty 50 index hit an intraday low of 17,423.

As of 9:38 a.m., the Sensex was up 5 points to 58,655 and the Nifty 50 index fell 11 points to 17,458.

Gains from Reliance Industries, HDFC, Infosys, ICICI Bank and Bajaj Finance were offset by losses from HDFC Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, Kotak Mahindra Bank and State Bank of India.

Eight of the 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower, led by the 0.4% drop in the Nifty Bank index. The Nifty Financial Services, Metal, PSU Bank, Private Bank and Auto indices were also trading with a negative bias.

In contrast, Oil & Gas, Pharma and Media stocks saw mild buying interest.

Mid and small cap stocks outperformed their larger counterparts, with the Nifty Midcap 100 Index rising 0.27% and the Nifty Smallcap 100 Index falling 0.84%.

JSW Steel was Nifty’s biggest loser, the stock fell 1.6% to Rs 662. HDFC Bank, TCS, Tata Steel, Axis Bank, NTPC, Hindalco, Titan, State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Eicher Motors and BI Life were also among the losers.

On the other hand, Bharat Petroleum, Reliance Industries, UPL, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Indian Oil, Asian Paints and Coal India were among the winners.

The overall market breadth was positive as 1,761 stocks were up while 938 were down on BSE.