Sensex drops 190 points on sell-off in infra, oil & gas, banks

Equity benchmarks stalled the follow-up rally by erasing more than 190 points on the Sensex on the back of profit booking in major sectors including infrastructure, financial, telecom and oil & gas. The sell-off as well as consolidation was imminent because the Sensex rallied more than 650 points from Wednesday till today's spike up in initial trade.

However, Infosys maintained its uptrend ahead of results for the quarter ended September 2010; jumped 1% followed by Wipro with 1.5% rise. Infosys' revenues are expected to go up 9.32% to Rs 6775.66 crore and net profit seen up 15.46% to Rs 1718.11 crore on quarter-on-quarter basis. However, TCS was down 0.7% and HCL Tech fell 1.2%.

The 30-share BSE Sensex closed at 20,497.64, down 190.24 points or 0.92% and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 56.55 points or 0.91% to settle at 6,177.35. The Nifty October futures' premium also trimmed down to 16 points from 37 points.

However, Alok Sama, Baer Capital said that liquidity is chasing emerging markets. Sama is expecting the Sensex to touch 21,000 and is likely to test 22,000 by the year-end. Foreign institutional investors were net buyers to the tune of more than Rs 42,000 crore in equity markets since September while for the year 2010 the figure was more than Rs 1 lakh crore.

Heavyweights Reliance Industries and ONGC lost 1.3% & 1.8%, respectively. Cairn India was down 1.6% and GAIL down 0.87%. BPCL was the top loser on Nifty; plunged 5% on speculation that follow-on public offering of IOC may be delayed to next year.

Yesterday's leading sector capital goods also witnessed profit booking. L&T tumbled 3.2%; BHEL and Siemens fell 1% each. In power space, NTPC and Power Grid were down 2.6% each. Reliance Power, Suzlon and Reliance Infrastructure declined 1-2%.