Mumbai: The BSE Sensex fell nearly 15 points on Tuesday from 3-month high as investors booked profits amid high crude oil prices, inflation concerns and weak global cues.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer logged a fresh 3-month intra-day high of 19,770.21 before dipping over 178 points in afternoon trading to a low of 19,523.54 on heavy sell-off amid choppy trading.

Fag-end buying helped it close at 19,686.82, down just 14.91 points or 0.08 percent. It had moved up by over 281 points or 1.45 percent on Monday, garnering 1,862.68 points or
10.44 percent in 10 sessions since March 22.

The NSE 50-issue index Nifty, however, settled steady just about making it in the positive zone at 5,910.05 from Monday's close of 5,908.45.

High oil prices have raised concerns about a higher subsidy bill for the government, inflationary pressures and high interest rates, marketmen said.

For May delivery, crude oil settled on Monday at the highest level since September 22, 2008 and was close to USD 109 a barrel in New York.

Selling in heavyweights like L&T, ICICI Bank, HDFC, RIL, M&M, HUL, Tata Power and ITC weighed on the market.

Had there not been a rise in TCS, Tata Motors, SBI, Sterlite Ind and BHEL, the fall in the Sensex would have been much more pronounced.

"The subdued price action in Tuesday's session was in sync with the lacklustre global cues as investors turned a little wary over rising crude oil prices," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research (India Private Clients) - IIFL.

"Going ahead, the Indian market could witness some consolidation but the overall bias will stay upbeat due to renewed pick-up in FII inflows, he added.

Ambani said corporate earnings have been factored in but any surprises will have some stock specific impact.

In Asian markets, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed for public holiday. The key indices from Japan ended down by 1.06 percent, although Singapore and South Korean markets finished better.

European stocks, however, were trading lower in their mid-sessions. The CAC was down 0.61 percent, the DAX and the FTSE by 0.31 percent each.

However, FIIs continued the buying spree and injected Rs 604.51 crore yesterday as per provisional data.

In a continued rally in second-line stocks for the fifth straight trading days, BSE-Smallcap index flared up by 1.44 percent and BSE-Midcap by 0.86 percent.


(Agencies)