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Stock markets fall for third day ahead of poll results; Sensex drops 220 pts

Stock markets fall for third day ahead of poll results; Sensex drops 220 pts
Extending the falling streak to the third day in a row, benchmark BSE Sensex declined by 220 points in volatile trade on Tuesday due to profit-taking in power, oil and capital goods shares ahead of results of Lok Sabha polls. After gyrating between gains and losses during the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 220.05 points or 0.29 per cent lower at 75,170.45. During the day, it hit a high of 75,585.40 and a low of 75,083.22.

The NSE Nifty dropped 44.30 points or 0.19 per cent to settle at 22,888.15 despite beginning the day on a positive note.

Analysts said that stock markets are witnessing 'buying on dips and sell on rallies' amid uncertainty ahead of the general poll results. Sensex and Nifty scaled lifetime highs on Monday but closed lower due to heavy profit taking at the fag-end.

From the Sensex pack, Power Grid, NTPC, Tech Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Maruti were among the laggards.

Asian Paints, Wipro, JSW Steel, Hindustan Unilever, Bajaj Finserv and Mahindra & Mahindra were among the biggest gainers.

"The Indian market exhibited mild consolidation post the recent sharp surge. The uncertainty-led volatility is likely to continue as the market approaches the election outcome," Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services said.

Analysts said mid- and small-caps underperformed, while defensive sectors like pharma and FMCG were optimistic.

"Nifty ended lower for third day in a row on Tuesday. Nervousness ahead of the election results is on the rise as is evident from the poor advance-decline ratio and falling volumes," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge declined 1.09 per cent and midcap index declined 0.63 per cent.

Among the indices, realty dropped 2.22 per cent. Power (1.86 per cent), utilities (1.55 per cent), services (1.37 per cent), telecommunication (1.26 per cent), industrials (1.08 per cent) and capital goods (0.95 per cent) were among the laggards.

Healthcare index emerged as the only gainer.

As many as 2,510 stocks declined while 1,321 advanced and 102 remained unchanged on the BSE. A total of 1,795 stocks declined and 809 advanced on the NSE.

"The Nifty lost 44 points to close at 22,888. It started on a positive note in today's trading session but couldn't sustain at higher levels and there was marginal profit-booking which was witnessed in the first half.

"The second half was quite range-bound and lacklustre as the Nifty traded in a 40 to 50-point narrow band after a flattish start, however, marginal selling was witnessed during the last hour of the trading session. It was clearly a day of consolidation," Tejas Shah, Technical Research, JM Financial & BlinkX, said.

In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong settled lower. European markets were trading on a mixed note.

US markets were closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.13 per cent to USD 83.21 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth Rs 541.22 crore on Monday, according to exchange data.

India's core monsoon zone covering most of the rain-fed agriculture areas in the country is likely to receive above-normal rainfall this season, the IMD said on Monday.