Samvat 2068 ended on a weak note as the BSE benchmark Sensex today declined by over 13 points on selling by funds concerned over sticky retail inflation, weak industrial output and record-high trade deficit.
The Sensex, which had lost 219 points in last two trading sessions, declined further by 13.34 points, or 0.07% to 18,670.34 as investors adjusted their portfolios ahead of a special 'Muhurat' trading on Diwali on Tuesday, followed by a holiday on Wednesday.
In the 30-share Sensex, 19 stocks declined led by two most influential stocks, ITC and RIL that fell over 1 per cent each. Tata Steel, which fell 1.93%, was the worst performer among the Sensex constituents.
The falling trend was, however, cushioned to some extent as HDFC Bank, SBI, TCS and Bharti Airtel logged 0.8-1.4% gains.
Meanwhile, non-index entity United Spirits surged the most in eight years by 34.93% to Rs 1,834.60 after Diageo agreed to buy a controlling stake last week.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty eased by 2.55 points, or 0.04% to close at 5,683.70 led by stocks of metal and capital goods sectors.
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.
Industrial production declined by 0.4% in September, as against growth of 2.5% in the same month last year. Retail inflation rose marginally to 9.75% in October, from 9.73% in September.
Brokers said investors were seen rejigging their portfolios to prepare for the special 75-minute 'Muhurat' trading on Diwali between 1545 hrs and 1700 hrs to open their new accounts for the Samvat 2069.