Sensex closes 304 points down; metal stocks fall

Mumbai, Feb 3: A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Monday closed 304 points or 1.48 percent down as metal, automobile and information technology (IT) stocks fell.

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,479.03 points, closed at 20,209.26 points — down 304.59 points or 1.48 percent from its previous day’s close at 20,513.85 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 20,480.35 points and a low of 20,182.20 intra-day.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed 87.70 points or 1.44 percent down at 6,001.80 points.

“Nifty opened the session on a negative note and continued the slow and gradual downward acceleration and closed the day on negative note around 6000 levels. Banks, Capital goods and Infra are the weak sectors; IT and Pharma are the strong sectors,” said Shrikant Chouhan, head, technical research, Kotak Securities.

The S&P BSE metal index decreased by 279.67 points followed by automobile index, which fell 218.03 points, bank index, down 157.83 points, IT 155.53 points and oil and gas index 102.11 points. However, The S&P healthcare index was up 111.25 points.

The major gainers were: Gail India, up 1.69 percent at Rs.365; DrReddys Lab, up 1.63 percent at Rs.2,649.55; Sun Pharma, up 1.22 percent at Rs.595.30; Cipla, up 0.44 percent at Rs.412.45; and Axis Bank, up 0.31 percent at Rs.1,123.05.

The main losers were: Hindalco Inds, down 5.48 percent at Rs.103.55; Tata Motors, down 3.79 percent at Rs.336.60; Tata Steel, down 3.58 percent at Rs.343.40; Bajaj Auto, down 3.52 percent at Rs.1,835.85; and BHEL, down 3.10 percent at Rs.167.50.

Negative sentiment ruled in the international markets also.

Among the Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.98 percent down, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.48 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index, fell by 0.82 percent.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX Index was lower by 0.19 percent while the French CAC 40 Index was down 0.13 percent. Only London’s FTSE 100 was trading 0.20 percent up.

IANS