Market Closing: Sensex falls 336 pts; Nifty ends below 18,200

Markets skid for the third consecutive day as profit-booking takes hold. At closing, the BSE  Sensex slumped 336 points or 0.55 percent to 60,923.50 while the NSE Nifty fell 88.50 points or 0.48 percent to 18,178.10  as market participants pared exposure to overbought counters for the second straight session. Asian Paints was the top loser in the Sensex pack, falling around 5 percent, followed by Reliance Industries, Infosys, Tata Steel, TCS and Dr Reddy’s.  On the other hand, Kotak  Mahindra Bank, HDFC, ICICI Bank and NTPC were among the gainers.

The broader markets moved in tandem with the key benchmark indices. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices were down 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. The overall breadth was marginally negative, with 1,676 declining stocks versus 1,610 advancing shares on the BSE.

Reliance Industries declined nearly 3 percent to Rs 2,623 a day ahead of its Q2 results. Infosys, Dr.Reddy's, Tata Steel and TCS were the other major losers, down over 2 percent each. On the positive front, Kotak Bank soared 6.5 percent to Rs 2,146. HDFC, ICICI Bank and NTPC were up 1 to 2 percent each.  Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended in the red, while Shanghai was positive. Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a negative note in mid-session deals. Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1.12 percent to USD 84.86 per barrel.

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