Sensex slips in special Diwali trading session

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 13, 2012 12:30 hrs

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex fell for a fourth consecutive day in Tuesday's short Diwali trading session as banks and automotive stocks fell a day after data showed a surprise contraction in the country's industrial output.

In the annual session to celebrate Diwali, which typically sees stocks gain as Indians view it as a lucky day to make purchases, major blue-chip stocks dragged down the Sensex 0.3 percent.

State Bank of India , the country's largest lender, fell 0.9 percent to 2,171.35 rupees, while rival HDFC Bank shed 0.7 percent to end at 647.05 rupees. Tata Motors , the country's biggest automaker, closed 1.1 percent lower at 277.55 rupees.

India's economic gloom deepened on Monday with an unexpected fall in industrial production, a slump in exports and higher retail inflation, putting pressure on the government to push ahead with reforms as growth stalls.

DLF fell 1.3 percent to 202.85 rupees, a day after India's largest developer posted a 63 percent fall in net profit for the July-September quarter on slowing home sales.

Shares in L&T Finance Holdings Ltd , a unit of infrastructure giant Larsen & Toubro , surged 16.1 percent, continuing a strong run of gains, on hopes it will benefit from a fresh allocation of banking licences.

The Sensex closed down at 18,618.87 points, after falling 1.2 percent over the previous three sessions.

The 50-share Nifty also fell 0.3 percent.

Trading will resume on Thursday, a day after India is set to release data for October wholesale price inflation.

(Reporting by Henry Foy; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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