Sensex range-bound; posts marginal change

Mumbai, May 16 (IANS) A benchmark index of the Indian equities markets closed flat Thursday, as losses in consumer durables and auto stocks offset gains in realty, healthcare, oil and gas and banking scrips.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the negative at 20,167.93 points, ended the day at 20,247.33 points, up 0.17 percent or 34.37 points from its previous day close at 20,212.96 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 20,326.48 points and low of 20,162.12 points intra-day.

The market saw sluggish trading after posting the biggest rally in a year Wednesday when the benchmark Sensex gained 2.49 percent or 490.67 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 0.38 percent or 23.15 points higher at 6,169.90 points.

Strong buying was seen in realty, oil and gas, healthcare and banking stocks.

The BSE realty index jumped 1.81 percent. Oil and gas index was up 1.64 percent; healthcare index was up 1.53 percent and banking index was trading 1.11 percent higher.

However, the selling pressure was felt in FMCG, technology and consumer durables scrips. The BSE FMCG index was down 1.06 percent; IT index was down 0.99 percent, consumer durables index was down 0.49 percent and auto index plummeted 0.60 percent.

Hindalco Inds jumped 2.68 percent at Rs.111.15. Cipla up 2.62 percent at Rs.422.25; RIL up 2.61 percent at Rs.840.15; Dr Reddys Lab up 2.48 percent at Rs.2,115.65; Sterlite Inds up 2.07 percent at Rs. 98.45; and State Bank of India up 1.27 percent at Rs.2414.80 were among the major Sensex gainers.

Among the major Sensex losers were companies like ITC that dropped 1.71 percent to Rs.336.80; Tata Motors, down 1.69 percent to Rs.303.20; Infosys, down 1.19 percent to Rs.2,332.15; TCS, down 1.02 percent to Rs.1,454.20; and Maruti Suzuki, down 0.71 percent to Rs.1,726.60.

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