Sensex tanked for the fifth day in a row losing 149 points on Thursday. There was huge volatility as investors in future and option segment rolled over their position to February 2014 series from the near month January 2014 series which expired today. The market sentiment was also hit by the US Federal Reserve's decision to further reduce its monthly bond purchases. The US Fed indicated that it is likely to keep reducing its purchases in the coming months, citing a pickup in US economic activity and improvement in the US labour market.
Sensex opened lower at 20,492 against previous close of 20647. It made a high of 20528 and low of 20344 before closing at 20498.
The turnover on BSE was up at Rs 1963 crore against Rs 1779 crore recorded on Wednesday.
On NSE, Nifty was down 47 points at 6,074.
GAIL gained one per cent to Rs 350. The company on Wednesday after market hours announced that the board meeting will be held on February 6 to consider proposal of interim dividend. The company has fixed February 11 as the record date for the purpose of payment of interim dividend, if so approved by the board.
Oil market companies dipped in a volatile trade as higher crude oil prices and weak rupee against the dollar spared worries of higher cost of crude imports.
Incidentally, the government raised the cap on number of subsidised domestic LPG cylinders from 9 to 12 per year from February 1. The hike will cost the government between Rs 3300 crore and Rs 4400 crore in additional subsidies it will have to pay state-run fuel retailers. The government already pays about Rs 46000 crore every year to subsidize cooking gas.
Major gainers were Crompton Greav (8%), Oberoi Realty (6%), Titan (4%), Aurobindo Pharma (4%) and IRB Infra (3%).
Prominent losers were Bank of India (-10%), United Spirits (-7%), GMR Infra (-7%), HDIL (-7%), Godrej Inds (-6%), TV18 Broadcast (-6%), Adani Enter (-6%), Indian Bank (-5%), Indiabulls Real Est (-5%), Oriental Bank (-5%) and Canara Bank (-5%).