Sensex closes flat; healthcare stocks rise

Mumbai, March 24 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip BSE Sensitive Index (Sensex), closed Tuesday’s trade flat — 30 points or 0.11 percent down.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), too, closed the day’s trade flat. It was down 7.95 points or 0.09 percent at 8,542.95 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 28,209.33 points, closed the day’s trade at 28,161.72 points, down 30.30 points or 0.11 percent from the previous day’s close at 28,192.02 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 28,455.32 points and a low of 28,130.09 points in the intra-day trade.

Charting the day’s trade, analysts said the markets, after trading in a positive zone, ended in the negative territory with marginal losses in the last part of the trading session.

Investors were covering their long positions ahead of future and options (F&O) expiry, the analysts said.

“The F&O expiry for the last month (March) of FY15 continues to impact the volatility. An emerging trend is likely to be developed near the expiry,” said Vinod Nair, head, fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Nair further said that banks are being impacted due to expectations of 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 to retail investors to add quality stocks on dip. Sectors which can be considered are banks, consumer durables, auto and capital goods,” Nair added.

Healthy buying was observed in healthcare, consumer durables and oil and gas sectors.

However, automobile, bank, information technology (IT), capital goods, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), metal, technology, entertainment and media (TECK) and realty stocks came under selling pressure.

The S&P BSE healthcare index was up 313.82 points, followed by consumer durables index which augmented by 71.17 points and oil and gas index was higher by 63.81 points.

The S&P BSE automobile index was down 224.20 points, bank index decreased by 128.61 points, IT index declined by 58.41 points, capital goods index lost 40.02 points, FMCG index was lower by 23.80 points, metal index dropped 21.56 points, TECK index fell 11.64 points and realty index slipped by 6.70 points.

The major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: Bharti Airtel, up 2.86 percent at Rs.394.30; DrReddy’s Lab, up 1.73 percent at Rs.3,512.95; NTPC, up 1.63 percent at Rs.152.60; Gail, up 1.62 percent at Rs.390; and Sesa Sterlite, up 1.57 percent at Rs.193.95.

The losers were: Tata Motors, down 3.27 percent at Rs.532.90; Hindalco, down 1.88 percent at Rs.133.20; Hindustan Unilever, down 1.59 percent at Rs.887.65; State Bank of India (SBI), down 1.57 percent at Rs.270.40; and Tata Steel, down 1.16 percent at Rs.327.20.

Among the Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei went down by 0.21 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed lower by 0.39 percent. However, China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained by 0.11 percent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up by 0.26 percent, France’s CAC 40 was higher by 0.45 percent and Germany’s DAX Index gained 0.28 percent at the closing in the Indian markets.

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