Sensex up nearly half a percent; auto stocks rally

Mumbai, May 20 (IANS) A benchmark index of the Indian equities markets was trading nearly half a percent up in the pre-afternoon trade Monday on the back of sustained buying from foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and on positive global cues.

Scrips like automobile, oil and gas and metal rallied. However, there was heavy selling pressure in healthcare, consumer durables and bank stocks.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the red at 20,277.76 points, was trading at 20,371.50 points in afternoon session, up 85.38 points or 0.42 percent from its previous day close at 20,286.12 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 20,443.62 points and low of 20,277.76 points in the intra-day trade.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading flat, 0.36 percent or 22.10 points up at 6,209.40 points.

The BSE automobile index was up 251.56 points, oil and gas index was 72.16 points higher, while metal index was up 68.17 points. However, healthcare index was down 57.84 points followed by the consumer durables index was lower by 39.09 points and bank index was was down 41.66 percent.

Among other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei was 1.47 percent up, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng went up by 1.68 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index was trading higher, by 0.83 percent.

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