Sensex, Nifty touch new highs, close flat (Roundup)

Mumbai, April 22: A benchmark index of Indian equities markets touched a record high of 22,853.03 points Tuesday for the second straight day, surpassing Monday’s high of 22,795.58 points.

Healthy buying was observed in capital goods, oil and gas, consumer durables, healthcare and bank sectors, while selling pressure was seen in metal, automobile, information technology (IT), fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and technology, entertainment and media (TECK) sectors.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 22,771.24 points, closed trading at 22,758.37 points, down 6.46 points or 0.03 percent from the previous day’s close at 22,764.83 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 22,853.03 points and a low of 22,727.63 points in trade.

Markets were bullish ahead of the result season and the ongoing polling exercise in which business-friendly Bharatiya Janata Party is apparently gaining. However, the markets retreated on the back of profit bookings as derivative contracts expire on Wednesday.

The capital goods index of the BSE zoomed 147.67 points, followed by oil and gas index which was up 112.09 points, bank index was higher by 24.02 points, consumer durables index rose 18.08 points and healthcare index was up 16.57 points.

However, metal index plummeted 82.90 points, automobile index fell 59.51 points, IT index was lower by 48.22 points, FMCG index was down 32.42 points and TECK index dipped 25.74 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) too touched a new high of 6,838 points. However, it closed 2.30 points or 0.03 percent down at 6,815.35 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: Larsen and Toubro (L&T), up 1.65 percent at Rs.1,344; Gail India, up 1.41 percent at Rs.378.60; HDFC Bank, up 1.36 percent at Rs.726.35; ONGC, up 0.94 percent at Rs.326.20; and Hindalco Inds, up 0.94 percent at Rs.144.70.

Major Sensex losers included: Sesa Sterlite, down 4.01 percent at Rs.193.70; Wipro, down 2.80 percent at Rs.531.30; State Bank of India (SBI), down 1.03 percent at Rs.2,049.35; Infosys, down 0.99 percent at Rs.3,149.90; and Maruti Suzuki, down 0.90 percent at Rs.1,970.50.

Among Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed lower at 0.85 percent but China’s Shanghai Composite Index was higher by 0.34 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was, meanwhile, down by 0.13 percent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was trading 1.00 percent up, Germany’s DAX Index was higher by 1.41 percent and the French CAC 40 Index had gained by 0.91 percent when markets closed here.

IANS