Sensex down 156 points, FIIs contribute to selling pressure


Mumbai : A benchmark index for Indian equities markets closed 156 points lower Thursday with realty and metal stocks taking the brunt of the selling pressure. Broader markets too ended in the red with foreign funds also indulging in profit booking.

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The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,532.85 points, closed at 19,292.02 points, down 156.67 points or 0.81 percent from its previous close at 19,448.69 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange shut shop at 5,785.45 points, down 0.83 percent.

Broader markets too closed in the red with the BSE midcap index ending 0.97 percent down and the BSE small cap index closing 0.48 percent lower.

Among major gainers on the Sensex were ONGC, up 1.99 percent at Rs.317.75; ICICI Bank, up 0.92 percent at Rs.1,117.55; Bharti Airtel, up 0.56 percent at Rs.386.75 and Bajaj Auto, up 0.26 percent at Rs.1,476.55.

The losers included: Reliance Communications, down 5.13 percent at Rs.99.85; Cipla, down 2.77 percent at Rs.309.45; DLF, down 2.71 percent at Rs.228.30 and Hero Honda, down 2.62 percent at Rs.1,696.10.

According to data available with market regulator SEBI, foreign institutional investors were net sellers, off-loading stocks worth $107.14 million.

The market breadth was negative with 1,097 stocks advancing, 1,793 on the decline and 101 remaining unchanged.

Asian markets ended mixed with earlier gains being wiped out ahead of a US decision on interest rates.

Stocks in Tokyo rose after the US Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it expected economic recovery to continue in the world’s largest economy.

The Japanese Nikkei average closed 1.63 percent higher at 9,849.74 points, while the Shanghai composite index of the Chinese stock exchanges shed 1.31 percent to end at 2,887.04 points.

The Hang Seng of the Hong Kong stock exchange slipped 0.37 percent to close at 23,805.63 points.

The European bourses were ruling moderately higher traders soon after the US Federal Reserve said it was committed to keeping interest rates low for an extended period. Positive corporate results also helped buying.

Around midday, the French CAC 40 was trading 0.45 percent higher at 4,086.09 points, while the German DAX was ruling 0.35 percent up at 7,431.06 points.

Britain’s FTSE was ruling 0.11 percent down at 6,061.44 points.