Sensex edges lower by 88 pts on global weakness

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Benchmark Sensex gave up its early gains to end lower for the fourth straight session today as investors booked profits amid rising geopolitical concerns.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 29,487.78 points, closed at 29,319.10 points - down 94.56 points or 0.32 per cent from the previous close at 29,413.66 points.

"With the earnings season having just begun, markets need to see some kind of confirmation that growth will come", said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice-president of research at SMC Global Securities.

As the Sensex closed higher - albeit marginally - after four days of losses in the face of muted corporate results so far, a normal monsoon forecast by IMD kept the hope factor alive for stocks on Wednesday.

"US and Australia's visa norms turned up the heat on IT companies, while higher possibilities of El Nino put sentiment under check".

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 250.54 crore yesterday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Net sales rose 37.5% to Rs79.72 crore.

Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.23 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng down 0.96 per cent in the early deals. BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap indices jumped 0.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively. Gainers included GAIL (3.90 per cent), IBull HSGF (2.12 per cent), Grasim (2.05 per cent), Reliance (1.98 per cent) and PowerGrid (1.15 per cent) A total of 864 shares declined, 842 advanced, while 90 ruled steady.

Sectorwise performers: Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the BSE Power index gained 2.04 per cent, followed by Realty (up 1.48 per cent), Telecom (up 0.65 per cent) and Metal (up 0.56 per cent) indices.

The weakness remained for the third session as the 30-share index fell 88.32 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 29,373.13. The scrip was trading at Rs441.50 on BSE, down 0.6% from previous close.