Sensex closes 69 points down; bank stocks plunge

Mumbai, March 23 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), closed Monday’s trade down 69 points or 0.24 percent.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed the day’s trade in the red. It was down 20 points or 0.23 percent at 8,550.90 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 28,317.29 points, closed the day’s trade at 28,192.02 points, down 69.06 points or 0.24 percent from the previous day’s close at 28,261.08 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 28,385.14 points and a low of 28,163.90 points in the intra-day trade.

All sector-based indices of the BSE closed in the red, except for the metal and power sector indices.

The S&P BSE bank index plunged by 182.35 points, followed by information technology (IT) index which went down by 120.66 points, consumer durables index fell by 93.02 points, capital goods index was lower by 74.84 points, oil and gas index declined by 59.59 points and technology, entertainment and media index was lower by 55.20 percent.

However, the S&P BSE metal index closed the day’s trade up 19.20 points and power index was marginally higher by 0.78 points.

Analysts said lack of any positive trigger coupled with expectations of subdued quarterly earning results led to further consolidation in the Indian markets.

“The markets are looking forward to the fourth-quarter earning results. The expectations are that the results might not be that exciting,” Devendra Nevgi, chief executive of ZyFin Advisors, told IANS.

The benchmark Sensex lost 242.22 points or 0.84 percent during the weekly trade session ended March 20. The Sensex ended the March 20 trade at 28,261.08 points.

“In this last expiry week of the Financial Year (FY15) market has taken a strong trend to its consolidation phase. Mid Caps are seeing higher negative impact against the good performance seen in the earlier consolidation phase,” said Vinod Nair, head, fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

According to Nair, negative impact is seen on bank stocks which are likely to have a poor fourth quarter results due to NPAs (non-performing assets) restructuring.

“We believe that these are phase of the long term bull market and suggest retail investors to add quality stocks on dip. Sectors which can be considered are banks, consumer durables, auto and capital goods,” Nair added.

The major Sensex gainers on Monday were: NTPC, up 3.20 percent at Rs.150.15; Hindalco, up 2.76 percent at Rs.135.75; Gail India, up 1.76 percent at Rs.383.80; Sesa Sterlite, up 1.41 percent at Rs.190.95; and Mahindra and Mahindra, up 1.27 percent at Rs.1,182.70.

The losers were: BHEL, down 3.62 percent at Rs.236.85; ICICI Bank, down 1.55 percent at Rs.314.15; Reliance Industries, down 1.41 percent at Rs.842.25; Wipro, down 1.33 percent at Rs.643.20; and State Bank of India (SBI), down 1.31 percent at Rs.274.70.

Among the Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei went up by 0.99 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed higher by 0.49 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained by 1.95 percent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was marginally down by 0.36 percent, France’s CAC 40 was lower by 0.89 percent and Germany’s DAX Index fell 1.39 percent at the closing in the Indian markets.

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