The benchmark BSE Sensex fell about 61 points in early trade on profit-booking by investors in recent gainers, even as retail inflation fell to a three-month low in February. The 30-share barometer, which gained 180.94 points in the past two sessions, was trading down 60.95 points or 0.25 per cent at 24,743.33 with healthcare, FMCG, power, oil&gas and metal sector stocks leading the losses. The NSE Nifty too shed 31.25 points or 0.41 per cent to 7,507.50 points.
Brokers said sentiment turned weak despite retail inflation falling to a three-month low of 5.18 per cent in February after rising for five months in a row as food prices including vegetables, pulses and fruits became less costly. A weak trend in other Asian markets as investors awaited the outcome later in the day of the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting and profit-booking after recent gains also weighed on the sentiment here, they added. Among other Asian markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.76 per cent, Shanghai’s Composite index fell 1.13 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.04 per cent in their early trade. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.09 per cent higher in Monday’s trade.