Profit booking dents equity markets 

Mumbai, May 31 (IANS) Profit booking, coupled with caution ahead of key macro-economic data, depressed the Indian equity markets on Tuesday.

The key indices traded in the red during the mid-afternoon session, as selling pressure was witnessed in healthcare, IT (information technology) and consumer durables stocks.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged down by 15.70 points or 0.19 percent, at 8,162.80 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 26,817.75 points, traded at 26,662.13 points (at 2.00 p.m.) — down 63.47 points or 0.24 percent from the previous close at 26,725.60 points.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 26,837.20 points and a low of 26,608.52 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears – with 1,527 declines and 901 advances.

The key indices on Monday had closed at their highest levels since October 2015. The equity markets had risen for the fifth consecutive session led by short covering, along with expectations of healthy quarterly results and higher crude oil prices.

The barometer index had edged up by 72 points or 0.27 percent, while the NSE Nifty had gained by 21.85 points or 0.27 percent.

Initially on Tuesday, the key indices opened on a higher note, in-sync with their Asian peers.

However, initial gains were ceded on the back of profit booking after five consecutive sessions of rise.

Besides, investors were seen reluctant to chase prices ahead of the release of key macro-economic data points.

Major macro-economic data like the fourth quarter GDP (gross domestic product) and eight core industries (ECI) are expected to be released later on Tuesday.

These key data points can give further cues towards a rate decision by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its monetary policy meet scheduled on June 7.

“Indian market being at the end of results season plus slew of economic data scheduled for release this week and next week is slowly shifting focus to the RBI decision,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

“Market is expected to remain subdued today.”

According to Nitasha Shankar, Senior Vice President for Research with YES Securities, volumes remained thin in the minor corrective phase which affirmed to a temporary pause in the bull trend.

“RSI (relative strength index) has also reached overbought levels portending to minor corrections, profit booking,” Shankar noted.

“Broader markets are also trading marginally lower in line with the headline indices. IT and pharma indices are pulling down the broader markets, while metals and auto indices are lending support.”

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