Sensex closes in red; oil and gas, IT stocks plummet

Mumbai, April 17 (IANS) A benchmark index of the Indian equities markets closed in red Wednesday, after a smart rally the previous day, as losses in oil and gas and information technology (IT) stocks offset gains in auto, bank and metal stocks.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the positive at 18,773.45 points, closed at 18,731.16 points, down 0.07 percent or 13.77 points from its previous day close at 18,744.93 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 18,869.88 points and low of 18,673.44 points in the intra-day. The benchmark index had rallied 2.11 percent or 387.13 points Tuesday.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed 0.25 points down at 5,688.70 points. The Nifty had gained 2.16 percent or 120.55 points Tuesday.

There was good buying in auto, bank, metal and health care and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) stocks.

The BSE auto index was up 1,116.54 points, followed by bank index, up 126.71 points, metal index, up 105.96 points, health care index, up 90.86 points, and FMCG index, up 75.16 points.

However, there was heavy selling pressure in the oil and gas and IT scrips. Oil and gas stocks fell after Reliance Industries’ scrip tanked 3.78 percent on the back of lower than expected quarterly results.

The oil and gas index fell 185.26 points. The IT index was down 68.21 points, while technology, media and entertainment (TECk) index was down 27.04 points. The power index closed 2.92 points lower and so was the capital goods index, down 2.34 points down.

Of the 30 Sensex scrips, 17 closed in the positive. Prominent among these were Sterlite Inds, up 4.05 percent at Rs.88.55; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 3.91 percent at Rs.878.60; Sun Pharma, up 3.01 percent at Rs.916.45; State Bank of India (SBI), up 2.87 percent at Rs.2,244.45; and ICICI Bank, up 1.70 percent up Rs.1,097.45.

Among the 13 losers were Reliance Industries, down 3.78 percent at Rs.774.10; Wipro, down 1.77 percent at Rs.374.95; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), down 1.73 percent at Rs.1,459.20; HDFC, down 1.57 percent at Rs.792.20; and Tata Power, down 1.56 percent at Rs.94.55.

Among other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.22 percent up while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down by 0.47 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index was lower by 0.05 percent.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was trading 0.70 percent down, and the German DAX was trading 1.76 percent lower. The French CAC 40 was ruling 1.60 percent down.

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