Mumbai, Nov 13 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets dropped 51 points in the special short duration trading, called "Muhurat" Tuesday due to selling pressure in technology, realty, banking and auto stocks.
The special 75 minutes trading was conducted by the leading bourses Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange on the occasion of the Hindu festival of Diwali.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) which opened in the positive at 18728.95 points, ended at 18618.87 points, down 0.28 percent or 51.47 points from its previous day close at 18670.34 points.
The benchmark Sensex touched a high of 18732.71 points and low of 18592.21 points in the intra-day.
The wider 50 scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also closed in the red. The Nifty fell 0.29 percent or 16.75 points at 5,666.95 points.
The short duration trading was conducted to pay obeisance to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It also marks the beginning of new year, Samvat 2069, for traders based on the lunar calendar as per ancient Hindu tradition.
The special "Muhurat" trading is conducted every year on Diwali day, a tradition that dates back over a century. The timing of trading varies from year to year. Last year the special trading was conducted from 4.45 p.m. to 6 p.m.
On the "Muhurat" trading profit booking was seen in technology, banking, auto and realty stocks.
IT index of the BSE fell 0.67 percent. Banking index dropped 0.42 percent, auto index declined 0.28 percent and realty index closed 0.25 percent down.
Major Sensex losers were: HDFC, down 1.33 percent at Rs.781.80; Dr. Reddys Lab, 1.18 percent down at Rs.1,755.65; Tata Motors, down 1.18 percent at Rs.277.40; Infosys, down 0.91 percent at Rs.2,339 and SBI, down 0.85 percent at Rs.2,171.95.
Only 13 of the 30 Sensex scrips closed in the positive. Bharti Airtel, up 1.02 percent at Rs.282.65; ONGC, up 0.57 percent at Rs.256.70; Tata Steel, up 0.56 percent at Rs.386; Cipla, up 0.52 percent at Rs.394.35 and Maruti Suzuki, up 0.51 percent at Rs.1,460.95 were among the major Sensex gainers.