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Stocks suffer setback

MUMBAI SEPT. 11. Late sell-off by domestic funds erased early gains and drove stocks sharply lower at close pushing the Sensex down by over 41 points in erratic movements on the Bombay Stock Exchange today despite fresh purchases by foreign institutional investors.

Starting on a weak note at 4423.71, the BSE benchmark 30-share index later staged a smart recovery and rose to the intra-day high at 4463.38 following sustained purchases in old economy stocks by FIIs that have made net investments of Rs. 658 crores in the first two sessions.

However, as prices met with heavy profit booking by local funds led by Unit Trust of India and fell sharply, the Sensex also declined to a low of 4381.09 and finally ended at 4393.13 as against yesterday's close of 4434.26, a sharp fall of 41.13 points or 0.93 per cent.

The broad-based BSE-100 index also declined by 7.26 points to close at 2328.39 from previous close of 2335.65.

Dealers also attributed weakness in share prices, particularly in IT segment, to a sharp setback on Wall Street last night where the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped by 86.74 points and 49.62 points respectively. On the other side, select bank and pharma stocks attracted good buying support from FIIs and retail investors. Refinery shares such as IBP, IOC, Kochi Refinery and Chennai Petroleum were also in keen demand and closed with handsome gains.

In the specified group, 88 including 20 index-based scrips registered losses while 104 finished with gains.

The BSE-200 index and the Dollex-200 were quoted moderately lower at 576.78 and 210.03 at close from previous close of 578.36 and 210.38 respectively. The BSE-500 index eased by 1.50 points to 1756.26 from 1757.76 and the Dollex-30 moved down to 788.88 from 795.40 previously. — PTI

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