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Sensex succumbs to late sell-off, ends lower

Market traded sideways and ended a touch lower on Wednesday, hit by selling by foreign investors towards the close of the session amid a subdued trend in Europe.

The Sensex succumbed to the pressure, before ending down 10.11 points, or 0.04%, at 26,633.13. The gauge had gained 47.79 points in the previous session.

NSE Nifty also closed in negative territory with a minuscule fall of 1.75 points, or 0.02%, at 8,190.50.

Sentiment soured after services PMI contracted for the second straight month and the all-crucial GST meet remained deadlocked over dual control, compensation and high-sea taxes.

The upcoming corporate results season and the approaching Union Budget kept investors on their toes. Asia firmed up following overnight gains on the Wall Street driven by optimism about the US economy.

Demonetization took its toll on the Indian services sector in December as the business activity contracted for the second consecutive month amid steeper reduction in incoming new orders, a monthly survey showed on Wednesday.

The Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tracks services sector companies on a monthly basis, stood at 46.8 in December, little changed from November’s 46.7, indicating a further solid contraction in output.

The major losers on the 30-share Sensex were RIL 1.99%, ICICI Bank 1.26% and Cipla 1.05%. However, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto, Wipro, Tata Motors, Hero Motocorp and Asian Paints ended in green, rising by up to 3.47%.

Banking dropped, along with oil and gas, PSU and metal. The broader markets showed a mixed trend with small-cap jumping 0.47% and the mid-cap declining 0.09%.

Hong Kong shares declined by 0.07% while Japan’s Nikkei rose 2.51% and Shanghai gained 0.73%. In Europe, Frankfurt’s DAX fell 0.17%, Paris CAC 0.01% and London’s FTSE was down 0.03% as investors awaited flash inflation figures for the euro zone.

Meanwhile, foreign funds sold shares worth Rs 500.49 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional data.