Late selling drags Sensex below 20,000 points


Mumbai: Indian equities markets Tuesday closed amid high volatility with a benchmark index ending almost 185 points lower and below the 20,000-mark as late selling pulled down stocks across sectors.

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The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,298.55 points, closed at 19,983.13 points, down 185.76 points or 0.92 percent from its previous close at 20,168.89 points.

It had moved up to an intra-day high to 20,332 points in early trade, while it touched the intra-day low at 19,923.96 points.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the 50-share S&P CNX Nifty ended at 6,027.3 points, down 0.8 percent.

Broader markets also gave up their gains. The BSE midcap index closed 0.24 percent higher and the BSE smallcap index moved up a similar quantum.

According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors bought scrips worth $184.3 million Tuesday. For the month, FII fund inflows have crossed $5.32 billion.

Healthcare stocks led the gainers pack, while auto scrips ended with modest gains. IT, realty, telecom and metal stocks were on the losing side.

The market breadth was mixed with 1,479 stocks advancing, 1,486 declining and 114 remaining unchanged.

Top Sensex gainers were Hero Honda, up 1.53 percent at Rs.1,836; Cipla, up 1.51 percent at Rs.331.80; ACC, up 0.63 percent at Rs.976.20 and Maruti Suzuki, up 0.22 percent at Rs.1,493.80.

Top losers included Infosys, down 3.05 percent at Rs.3,012.30; Hindalco Industries, down 2.23 percent at Rs.206.45; DLF, down 2.19 percent at Rs.369.30, and Tata Steel, down 2.01 percent at Rs.633.

Other Asian markets closed in the green as sentiments improved on the back of strong US corporate earnings results and a rally at Wall Street overnight.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was ruling 1.25 percent higher at 23,763.73 points, while the Japanese Nikkei closed 0.43 percent up at 9,539.45 points.

The Shanghai Composite index ended at 3,001.85 points, up 1.58 percent.

European stock markets were ruling with modest gains as investors waited for earnings results from US banks. Also, German economic data showed improved customer sentiments that helped trading.

Around mid-day, Britain’s FTSE 100 was trading 0.26 percent higher at 5,757.67 points.

The German DAX was ruling 0.27 percent up at 6,534.54 points, while the French CAC 40 was 0.42 percent higher at 3,850.63 points.