Mumbai, Mar 21 (PTI) Pressured by banking and pharma

stocks, the market stayed in a state of weakness for the

second straight day, coming on the heels of last week’s

stellar rally.

Data showing that domestic investors were net sellers

yesterday were a dampener.

According to traders, the market is going through a phase

of consolidation after hitting record highs following BJP’s

mammoth win in UP and Uttarakhand and formation of governments

in Goa and Manipur.

After hitting the day’s high of 29,585.05, the 30-share

Sensex closed at 29,485.45, down 33.29 points, or 0.11 per

cent.

The gauge had fallen 130.25 points in the previous session

following profit-booking in recent gainers.

Reflecting the overall trend, the NSE Nifty slipped below

the 9,100-mark to touch a low of 9,087.20 before ending 5.35

points, or 0.06 per cent, lower at 9,121.50.

“While FDA observations kept pharma space depressed,

banking stocks were also under pressure from potential farm

loan waivers,” said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist,

Geojit Financial Services.

Meanwhile, further strength in the rupee, which

appreciated 10 paise to 65.25 (intra-day) against the dollar

on robust capital inflows, curbed losses.

Meanwhile, the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought

shares worth a net Rs 56.67 crore yesterday while domestic

institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs

536.21 crore, as per provisional data.

Shares of Divi’s Laboratories today slumped 19.77 per

cent to a 52-week low of Rs 634.35 after the company said the

US health regulator has issued an import alert on the products

manufactured at one of its units in Visakhapatnam.

Idea Cellular tumbled 4.76 per cent to Rs 92.95, falling

for the second session in a row, after announcement of its

merger with Vodafone India to create the country’s largest

mobile phone operator.

Among Sensex stocks, drug major Dr Reddy’s topped the

loser’s list by slumping 4.36 per cent to Rs 2,622.80 while

Axis Bank shed 3.28 per cent to Rs 488.

The broader markets too fell after investors locked in

gains, pulling down the mid cap by 0.45 per cent and

small cap 0.19 per cent.

Shares of Avenue Supermarts (D-Mart) made a stellar debut

on the bourses today by surging 114.30 per.

Globally, Asian bourses ended on a mixed note. European

shares too were mixed in morning deals.

Other major losers were GAIL 1.41 per cent, Maruti

Suzuki 1.40 per cent, RIL 1.29 per cent, Sun Pharma 1.12 per

cent and ICICI Bank 1.07 per cent.

However, there were notable gainers – ITC Ltd, ONGC,

Infosys, L&T, Hindustan Unilever, Coal India, HDFC Bank, Power

Grid and TCS.

Among BSE sectoral indices, healthcare dropped 1.44 per

cent followed by bank, auto, PSU and oil and gas. However,

realty rose by 1.35 per cent and FMCG gained 1.01 per cent.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.