Indian shares slip on year-end profit booking; Nifty set for 13% jump in 2019

BENGALURU, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Indian stocks slipped on Tuesday but hovered around their all-time highs as investors booked year-end profits, while the benchmark Nifty index was poised for a nearly 13% gain in 2019.

On the last trading day of the year, the NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.36% at 12,211.60 by 0445 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was trading 0.38% lower at 41,401.35.

The Nifty has risen 12.5% so far this year, while the Sensex has climbed 14.8%. Both blue-chip indexes hit fresh record highs this year and have gained sharply more than in 2018, even as economic growth slipped to a five-year low this year amid a slowdown in demand for everything from cars to cookies.

Still, the gap between large-cap shares and their smaller peers was stark. The BSE MidCap index has shed 3% this year, while the BSE SmallCap index is down 7%.

To view an interactive graphic on the Nifty 50's performance over the past decade, click here:

Asian equities also slipped on Tuesday, mirroring declines on Wall Street, as investors locked in gains made since the United States and China

deal this month.

The Nifty Bank index and the Nifty PSU Bank index , which have each rallied roughly 17% since early October, were down 0.40% and 0.33%, respectively.

Twelve of the 13 stocks on the Nifty PSU Bank index, which tracks state-run lenders, were in the red. Indian Overseas Bank fell 2.1%.

The Nifty Auto index, which has climbed 23% from a record low in July, was down 0.40%. The index still lost 10% this year as automakers battled a crippling slowdown that forced them to cut production and jobs.

“When the market is near an all-time high, there’s a probability of a correction ... we are seeing that today,” said Siddharth Sedani, head of equity advisory at Anand Rathi Financial Services Ltd in Mumbai.

The Nifty 50 last hit an intraday record high of 12,293.90 on Dec. 20.

Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Rashmi Aich