Sensex loses 261 points, closes below 18,000 points (Roundup)

February 8th, 2011 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Sensex Mumbai, Feb 8 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets Tuesday closed below the 18,000 points-mark — for the first time in over five months — as selling intensified across the market breadth.The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,141.51 points, closed at 17,775.7 points — down 261.49 points or 1.45 percent from its previous close at 18,037.19 points.

The Sensex had closed below the 18,000-point mark on Aug 31 last year.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange ended 1.55 percent lower at 5,312.55 points.

Broader markets saw heavier selling, with the BSE midcap index closing 2.42 percent lower and the BSE small cap index trading 3.23 percent down.

Consumer durables, realty and auto scrips were among the biggest losers. All 13 sectoral indices closed in the red.

The market breadth was negative, with 551 stocks advancing compared to 2,299 scrips on the decline. A total of 136 stocks remained unchanged.

Among gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex were: Bajaj Auto, up 1.69 percent at Rs.1,238.30; Tata Power, up 1.47 percent at Rs.1,211.55; Cipla, down 0.83 percent at Rs.317.25; and Hindalco Industries, down 0.82 percent at Rs.234.15.

Major losers included M&M, down 5.97 percent at Rs.626.85; ONGC, down 5.58 percent at Rs.281.80; Reliance Communications, down 5.21 percent at Rs.81; and Hero Honda, up 4.2 percent at Rs.110.70.

According to data available with market regulator SEBI, foreign institutional investors were net buyers, acquiring scrips worth $0.14 million.

Other Asian markets were mixed as concerns over continuing political turmoil offset the positive sentiments, brought on by overnight gains on Wall Street.

The Japanese Nikkei moved up 0.41 percent to close at 10,635.98 points, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended 0.29 percent down at 23,484.3 points.

The Chinese markets were closed on account of the annual Lunar New Year holiday.

European markets were tepid as traders were hesitant of taking new positions on lack of data from the corporate or economic front.

Around mid-day, the French CAC 40 was trading 0.17 percent down at 4,090.43 points, while the UK’s FTSE was ruling 0.17 percent lower at 6,040.52 points.

The German DAX was ruling 0.21 percent up at 7,298.58 points.

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