Sensex closes lacklustre day 114 points down


Mumbai : A benchmark index for an Indian equities market Wednesday edged lower, closing 114 points lower on a largely lacklustre trading day as investors chose to sell towards the later half of the day, ahead of expected rate hike next week.

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The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,153.31 points, closed at 18,978.32 points – down 113.73 points or 0.6 percent from its previous close at 19,092.05 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange too shut shop lower at 5,691.05 points, 33 points or 0.58 percent lower.

Most economists and analysts expect the Reserve Bank of India to hike key interest rates at its periodical monetary policy review on Jan 25.

Broader markets, moved up moderately, with the BSE midcap index closing 0.15 percent up and the BSE smallcap index ending 0.09 percent higher.

Metals and realty stocks were among major gainers, while capital goods, IT and energy scrips saw selling.

The market breadth was mixed, with 1,416 stocks advancing compared to 1,387 scrips on the decline, while 190 stocks remained unchanged.

Among gainers on the Sensex were DLF, up 3.13 percent at Rs.257; Sterlite Industries, up 2.74 percent at Rs.182; Reliance Infra, up 2.71 percent at Rs.721.35; and Hindalco Industries, up 2.63 percent at Rs.235.85.

Top Sensex losers included Infosys, down 1.99 percent at Rs.3,252; L&T, down 1.87 percent at Rs.1,651.95; SBI, down 1.86 percent at Rs.2,508.70; and HDFC Bank, down 1.48 percent at Rs.2,077.60.

According to data available with market regulator SEBI, foreign institutional investors bought scrips worth $38.74 million Wednesday.

After two days of weakness, most other Asian stock markets rose Wednesday amid strong earnings reports from companies in the US.

The Chinese Shanghai Composite index moved up 1.81 percent at 2,758.1 points, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1 percent to close at 24,419.62 points.

The Japanese Nikkei closed 0.36 percent up at 10,557.1 points.

Key indices of European stock markets were trading dull with traders choosing to stay on the sidelines ahead of earnings reports from US companies.

Around mid-day, the German DAX was ruling 0.18 percent down at 7,130.38 points, while the French CAC 40 was trading 0.38 percent lower at 3,997.33 points.

The UK’s FTSE was ruling 0.49 percent down at 6,026.9 points.