The Sensex fell, as recent gainers such as Reliance Industries were hit by profit-booking, while IT stocks fell due to concerns about their outlooks on a day in which the expiry of derivatives led to record volumes in the futures and options (F&O) segment.
Turnover in F&O on Thursday reached around Rs 4.2 lakh crore, three traders said, as December contracts expired, leading to rollovers into the January 2013 series. Caution also prevailed with only three trading sessions left in 2012, as the 'US cliff' negotiations continue, while the strong foreign buying that has helped sustain Indian stocks could peter out as investors close their books.
The BSE Sensex fell 0.48 per cent, or 93.66 points, to end at 19,323.80. The broader Nifty fell 0.6 per cent, or 35.50 points, to end at 5,870.10, ending below the psychological level of 5,900 points. The BSE Sensex has gained around 25 per cent this year, backed by about $24 billion in foreign buying across domestic equities.
Among decliners on Thursday, Reliance Industries Ltd fell 1.3 per cent hit by profit taking after shares gained 4.4 per cent so this month as yesterday, trumping a 0.2 per cent fall in the NSE index. Other shares that were hit by profit-taking included Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, which fell 1.5 per cent, and Hindustan Unilever Ltd, which ended down one per cent.
Technology shares extended falls on caution ahead of their earnings results next month and uncertainty about their 2013 outlooks. Infosys Ltd shares fell 1.2 per cent, while Tata Consultancy Services Ltd lost 0.9 per cent.
However, among gainers, Tata Motors Ltd shares gained one per cent, as hopes for a better outlook in 2013 for key unit Jaguar Land Rover led investors to roll over their derivatives positions, according to traders. Clariant Chemicals India Ltd shares gained 1.5 per cent after the company said SK capital will buy its textile chemicals and paper specialties unit. Financial details were not provided.