Investors appeared cautious ahead of RBI monetary policy review and monthly expiry of equity derivative contracts next week, amid weak trend in global markets.
After losing 169 points in the previous three sessions, the Sensex eased further by 41.91 points, or 0.20 percent to over one-week low of 20,683.52. It shuttled between 20,782.16 and 20,622.55 intra-day.
Even though the 30-share bluechip index briefly climbed to three-year high by surpassing a crucial 21,000 level on Thursday, it closed 199.37 points down this week -- the first loss in four weeks. Last week, it had gained 354.30 points.
On similar lines, the 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty edged down by 19.45 points, or 0.32 percent, to 6,144.90. It had touched a high of 6,174.75 intra-day.
Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, ended at 12,309.62, down 21.7 points or 0.18 percent.
Brokers said higher inflation data dimmed any chance of a cut in interest rate and the street was expecting a 0.25 percent hike in repo rate.
In the Sensex pack, 21 stocks declind led by Hindalco, Tata Steel, M&M, HUL, GAIL, BHEL, Hero MotoCorp, L&T, Bharti Airtel, Sun Pharma, Tata Power, Jindal Steel and Cipla.
Bucking the general weak trend, IT, Teck and consumer durable stocks were higher on buying, traders said.
While IT stocks gained on expectations the recovery in global economy would boost revenues, the consumer durables sector firmed on rising demand during the festive season.
The BSE Realty sector index suffered the most by losing 2.27 percent, followed by Capital Goods (1.61 percent), Metal (1.22 percent) and Auto (1.19 percent).
Globally, major Asian markets ended down. European indices were also trending down in early trade.


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HIV cure, AIDS treatment

HIV-AIDS treatment suffers major setback

In a major setback in the fight against HIV-AIDS, a research finding has suggested that the complete treatment of the deadly disease may be a distant dream as scientists have found that the reservoir of latent or inactive HIV that silently lingers in a patient’s body is much larger than scientists believed.

This new report from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has revealed that completely eradicating the human immunodeficiency virus may be much more difficult than previously thought.  Scientists say, this pool of viruses – known as HIV proviruses – may actually be 60-fold greater than previous estimates.

“We’re working very hard on developing better ways to assess the size of this reservoir. But I think there’s a lot more we really need to understand before we do a lot more clinical trials on (HIV cures),” said lead author Dr. Robert Siliciano, an HHMI investigator at Johns Hopkins University.

Scientists explain in order to effectively cure HIV-AIDS, the entirety of the virus must be eliminated from the body.  This has been difficult to accomplish, since HIV exists in two states – an active version that is constantly replicating and destroying the immune system and an inactive version that hides in the body’s memory T cells and remains dormant.

When memory T cells respond to the virus and try to eradicate it from the body, they inadvertently become hosts for HIV. The virus “infects” some of the responding T cells by physically inserting itself into the cells’ DNA.  Then, when the T cells go back to a resting state, the HIV is “turned off” and silently hides in its host cell.

The study was published in the journal Cell.