Sensex closes below 17,000 points


Mumbai : A key index of the Indian equities markets slipped 52 points Wednesday to close below the 17,000-point mark amid selling pressure and weak cues from Asian markets.

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The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened lower at 17,032.01 points, closed at 16,998.78 points, down 51.87 points from its previous close.

The index hit an intra-day high of 17,098.79 points, but failed to hold on to the gains as investors preferred to book profit in key scrips.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader S&P CNX Nifty also closed in the red at 5,054.7 points, down 0.15 percent from the last close.

However, investors found favour with broader market indices, with the BSE midcap index closing 0.29 percent higher and the BSE small cap index 0.8 percent up.

The market breadth was positive, with 1,598 stocks advancing, 1,166 declining and 82 remaining unchanged.

Of 30 stocks on the Sensex, 12 ended on the gainers’ list.

Prominent among them were Tata Motors, up 3.14 percent; Tata Steel, up 1.68 percent; ITC Ltd, up 1.61 percent; and Infosys, up 1.54 percent.

Among losers were Reliance Infrastructure, down 3.2 percent; Larsen and Toubro, down 1.72 percent; ICICI Bank, down 1.47 percent; and Reliance Industries, down 1.47 percent.

According to data with the regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors bought shares worth $128.4 million Wednesday.

Other Asian markets ended on a dull note.

The primary index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Hang Seng, closed 73.82 points or 0.32 percent lower at 22,840.33 points.

The Nikkei, a key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed at 9,676.8 points, down 53.13 points.

In China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange composite index closed marginally in the green at 3,303.23 points, up 0.62 percent.

European markets were trading mixed.

Britain’s FTSE 100 index was ruling 22.75 points lower at 5,368.68 points, while its French peer, CAC 40, was trading 24.84 points up at 3,853.9 points.

The German index, DAX, was ruling 46 points up at 5,824.43 points.