Sensex crosses 30,000-mark; closes 213 points down

Mumbai, March 4 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), Wednesday touched a new record high of 30,024.74 points but closed the day’s trade at 213 points or 0.72 percent down.

The market was initially upbeat after India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, cut its key lending rates by 25 basis points, expecting inflation to soften further in the coming fiscal. However, profit-booking during the fag-end of the trading session wiped out the day’s gains.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also touched an intra-day record high of 9,119.20 points. It closed the day’s trade down 73.60 points or 0.82 percent at 8,922.65 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 29,937.27 points, closed the day’s trade at 29,380.73 points, down 213 points or 0.72 percent from the previous day’s close at 29,593.73 points.

The Sensex had touched a high of 30,024.74 points and a low of 29,289.05 points in the intra-day trade.

The choppy session led the Sensex to swing nearly 400 points both ways in the day’s volatile trade session.

Earlier on Wednesday, the RBI reduced key lending rates by 25 basis points and said it was expecting inflation to soften in the coming fiscal. However, it also expressed concern over the postponement of the fiscal consolidation target by a year.

In its monetary policy statement of Jan 15, 2015, the Reserve Bank had reduced the repo rate by 25 basis point. However, it maintained the interest rate in its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy statement of Feb 3.

The RBI that time said it was awaiting more data on inflation and signals from the national budget.

Analysts said the markets opened at a new high on the back of the surprise move by the central bank. However, higher level of profit-booking was seen in the markets in the second half which made the market pare all its gains.

Profit-booking was partly due to over-bought situation and decline in the Asian markets.

“As the market has moved for a long time in expectation and hope (which has actually come true in terms of news and action), it is fair to consolidate in the trajectory till earnings show growth,” said Vinod Nair, head – fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

In Wednesday’s trade, bank, metal, oil and gas, automobile, information technology (IT), capital goods and consumer durables stocks came under selling pressure.

However, healthy buying was observed in healthcare, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and realty sectors.

The S&P BSE healthcare index was up 204.32 points, FMCG index was higher by 72.61 points and realty index marginally increased by 0.28 points.

However, bank index was down 405.27 points, followed by metal index which was lower by 254.48 points, automobile index fell 151.87 points, oil and gas index decreased by 131.66 points and IT index lost 122.48 points.

The S&P BSE capital goods index closed the day’s trade down 82.64 points and consumer durables index was lower by 79.15 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: Sun Pharma, up 6.62 percent at Rs.1,004.80; ITC, up 0.89 percent at Rs.344.40; Bharti Aitel, up 0.63 percent at Rs.351.15; Bajaj Auto, up 0.28 percent at Rs.2,122.10; and HDFC, up 0.08 percent at Rs.1,365.20.

The losers were: Sesa Sterlite, down 4.11 percent at Rs.212.40; Hindalco, down 3.32 percent at Rs.153.05; Tata Power, down 3.21 percent at Rs.84.35; Axis Bank, down 3.19 percent at Rs.612.65; and State Bank of India (SBI), down 2.82 percent at Rs.294.20.

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