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Stocks took a breather today after three days of a dizzying rally as both the Sensex and the Nifty came down from life highs owing to rush among investors to take profit, sobered by caution in global markets.
Expiry of April derivatives contracts got under way, making participants hold back their bets. Global pointers remained subdued as the long-awaited tax plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump did not move investors. "Market traded range bound on the expiry day, while global market remained weak due to lack of clarity in US president’s corporate tax proposals which influenced investors to take out some profit," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
The Sensex scaled a new peak of 30,184.22 intra-day, driven by abundant liquidity. But subsequently, investors chose to book gains as the benchmark closed at 30,029.74, down 103.61 points, or 0.34 per cent.
Yesterday, the 30-share blue-chip index had hit its all-time closing high of 30,133.35 and gained 768.05 points in the previous three sessions. Likewise, the 50-stock NSE barometer Nifty finished 9.70 points, or 0.10 per cent, down at 9,342.15 after hitting yet another new high of 9,367.15 (intra-day). It had gained 232.45 points in the past three days. Sectors like metal, FMCG, healthcare and auto saw fresh spell of selling. Realty, IT, oil and gas continued to witness buying on encouraging quarterly earnings.
Traders said the market is in an "over-bought" position. Lupin, ITC Ltd, Tata Steel, SBI, HDFC, Bajaj auto, ICICI Bank and M&M succumbed to profit booking.
The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki fell marginally after it announced its earnings numbers today.
Axis Bank plunged 2.19 per cent after the company reported 43 per cent drop in net profit for the fourth quarter. A total of 20 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex pack ended lower, 9 went up and 1 was unchanged. The broader markets displayed a mixed trend.
Foreign capital outflow also affected sentiment as FIIs net sold Rs 492.52 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. Asia too threw up a mixed picture.
European markets were trading lower as investors weighed in on the latest round of inflation data and earnings reports.


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