Sensex closes 261 points down; auto stocks fall

Mumbai, Feb 26 (IANS) A benchmark index of the Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) closed Thursday’s trade 261 points or 0.90 percent down, as interest-sensitive stocks like automobile, capital goods and banks plunged.

The day’s biggest trigger — the rail budget — failed to enthuse investor confidence, even as it proposed various plans to re-energise one of the largest railroad networks in the world, while seeking to improve passenger amenities and safety.

This was Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s maiden budget to the Lok Sabha, in which he proposed to correct the railway’s investment deficit position by proposing new initiatives for generating financial resources like tying up with pension funds and other debt-related instruments.

Prabhu also proposed various plans to increase investments, erect new rail infrastructure, rationing of energy consumption and sprucing of passenger amenities.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed the day’s trade in the red. It was down 83.40 points or 0.95 percent at 8,683.85 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 29,051.90 points, closed the day’s trade at 28,746.65 points, down 261.34 points or 0.90 percent from the previous day’s close at 29,007.99 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 29,069.13 points and a low of 28,693.82 points in the intra-day trade.

Except realty and oil and gas stocks, all other sector-based indices of the BSE eneded the day’s trade in the red.

Interest rate-sensitive stocks like automobile, capital goods and banks plunged in the day’s trade.

Other sector-based indices like healthcare, information technology (IT), metal, technology, entertainment and media (TECK), fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and consumer durables also sustained selling pressure.

The S&P BSE automobile index decreased by 280.32 points, followed by capital goods index which plunged 227.48 points, bank index was lower by 198.72 points.

Healthcare index fell by 182.10 points, IT index was down 170.80 points, metal index was lower by 100.03 points. TECK index contracted by 77.47 points, FMCG index reduced by 62.87 points and consumer durables index reduced by 39.94 points.

However, S&P BSE realty index rose 5.83 points and oil and gas index was up 3.35 points.

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