Profit taking pulls Sensex 295 points down (Roundup)

February 18th, 2011 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Sensex Mumbai, Feb 18 (IANS) Profit booking pushed down a benchmark index for Indian equities markets 295 points lower Friday. Broader markets too were hit by the selling spree. The markets had risen sharply Thursday.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,564.08 points, closed at 18,211.52 points, down 295.3 points or 1.6 percent from its previous close at 18,506.82 points.

It had risen to an intra-day high of 18,690.97 points and touched a low of 18,159.82 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange moved down 1.58 percent at 5,458.95 points.

Broader markets saw heavier selling, with the BSE midcap index closing 1.98 percent lower and the BSE small cap index ending 2.35 percent down.

IT and FMCG stocks were leading, while auto and realty scrips were among losers.

The market breadth was negative, with 773 stocks advancing compared to 2,085 scrips on the decline. A total of 122 stocks remained unchanged.

Among the gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex were: Hindustan Unilever, up 1.99 percent at Rs.279.25; Jindal Steel, up 1.55 percent at Rs.679.40; Cipla, up 0.57 percent at Rs.307.30; and BHEL, up 0.56 percent at Rs.2,093.15.

Losers on the benchmark index included Reliance Communications, down 6.8 percent at Rs.93.15; Reliance Infra, down 5.6 percent at Rs.605.60; Jaiprakash Associates, down 5.54 percent at Rs.85.25; and Tata Motors, down 3.91 percent at Rs.1,201.95.

According to data available with market regulator SEBI, foreign institutional investors bought scrips worth $18.97 million Friday.

Asian markets were mixed with the political tensions in the Middle East continuing to weigh down traders.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shut shop 1.26 percent higher at 23,595.24 points, while a benchmark of Chinese markets, Shanghai Composite index, shed 0.93 percent to close at 2,899.79 points.

The Japanese Nikkei ended flat at 10,842.8 points.

European markets were trading weak with investors cautiously eyeing the two-day meeting of the G20 finance ministers while tensions in the Middle East added to the uneasiness.

Around mid-day, the French CAC 40 was trading 0.21 percent down at 4,143.48 points, while the UK’s FTSE was ruling 0.55 percent lower at 6,053.66 points.

The German DAX was ruling 0.11 percent down at 7,397.59 points.

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