Low rain forecast washes out some gains; Sensex off new peak

Mumbai, Apr 26: Stocks: The S&P BSE benchmark Sensex fell from historic high due to tail-end selling from operators following forecast of below normal monsoon this year but still ended the shortened week up 59 points at 22,688.

The BSE and NSE were closed on April 24 on account of voting in the third and last phase of Lok Sabha election in Maharashtra, including Mumbai.

The Sensex opened higher at 22,644.75 and shot up further to a life-time high of 22,939.31 on short-covering mainly in capital goods, banking, metal, PSU and healthcare sectors in view of expiry of derivatives contract on April 23 coupled with persistent foreign capital inflows.

However, the 30-share index declined to 22,636.75 on tail-end selling in FMCG, power, realty, IT and refinery sectors before ending at 22,688.07, still showing a gain of 59.23 points, or 0.26 per cent, over its last weekend level.

The NSE 50-share Nifty moved up marginally by 3.35 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 6,782.75 after hitting an all-time high of 6,869.85.

“The major reason (for weak sentiment) seems to be concerns over the news that monsoon is likely to be below normal which will impact the country’s economy,” said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice-President, Bonanza Portfolio.

The Met Department on Thursday said the monsoon is expected to be below normal in 2014 because of the El Nino effect, arising from the warmer-than-average sea surface temperature in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

Monsoon is crucial for agriculture, particularly the kharif crops, because almost 60 per cent of the farmland in India is rain-fed.

Brokers said persistent capital inflows, too, kept the market tempo stable. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued their buying spree as they invested a net Rs 1,645.01 crores during the week, as per SEBI’s data, including the provisional figure of April 25.