Samvat 2068 ended on a weak note as the BSE benchmark Sensex closed 13 points or 0.07 per cent lower at 18,670 on Monday. Concerns over sticky retail inflation, weak industrial output and record-high trade deficit sent markets lower today.
The 50-share Nifty, which had lost nearly 75 points in last two trading sessions, declined further by nearly 3 points, or 0.04 per cent to 5,684 as investors adjusted their portfolios ahead of a special 'Muhurat' trading on Diwali tomorrow, followed by a holiday on Wednesday.
19 stocks declined on the Sensex led by tobacco major ITC and RIL, which closed over 1 per cent lower each. Tata Steel, which fell 1.93 per cent, was the worst performer among the Sensex constituents. HDFC Bank, SBI, TCS and Bharti Airtel logged 0.8-1.4 per cent gains.
United Spirits surged the most in eight years by 34.93 per cent to Rs 1,834.60 after Diageo agreed to buy a controlling stake last week.
The sentiment remained bearish on the last day of Samvat 2068 on an unexpected contraction in September industrial output, marginally high consumer price index and trade deficit widening to an all-time high of $20.96 billion.
Brokers said investors were seen rejigging their portfolios to prepare for the special 75-minute 'Muhurat' trading on Diwali between 3.45 p.m. and 5 p.m. to open their new accounts for the Samvat 2069.
A mixed trend in Asian region and lower opening in Europe on earning concerns further soured the market sentiment.
Sensex has rallied 21 per cent this year, driven by heavy FII buying and government policy initiatives recently in a bid to revive economic growth.