Sensex closes 100 points down; automobile stocks fell

Mumbai, Oct 23 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets fell for the second day Wednesday by nearly 100 points or half a percent as automobile, healthcare and oil and gas stocks faced selling pressure.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,875.31 points, closed at 20,767.88 points, down 97.09 points or 0.47 percent from the previous day's close at 20,864.97 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 20,922.32 points and a low of 20,589.72 intra-day.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed in negative territory. It ended at 6,178.35 points, down 24.45 points or 0.39 percent.

Heavy selling pressure was observed in automobile, healthcare and oil and gas stocks. However, healthy buying was observed in bank, capital goods and consumer durables sectors.

The S&P BSE automobile index lost 87.22 points, while healthcare index was down 77.75 points, and the oil and gas index was lower by 77.35 points.

However, bank index was up 69.39 points, followed by capital goods index, which gained 51.28 points, and consumer durables index which ended the day's trade 23.83 points up.

The major Sensex gainers were Gail India, up 3.89 percent at Rs.346.25; Cipla, up 2.74 percent at Rs.423.35; State Bank of India (SBI), up 2.35 percent at Rs.1,716.35; Larsen and Toubro (L&T), up 1.35 percent at Rs.947.30; and ICICI Bank, up 1.30 percent at Rs.1,024.50.

The losers in the day's trade were Wipro, down 4.41 percent at Rs.492.20; Sun Pharma, down 2.39 percent at Rs.622.80; NTPC, down 2.02 percent at Rs.145.40; BHEL, down 1.93 percent at Rs.142.55; and Bajaj Auto, down 1.72 percent at Rs.2,100.60.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.95 percent down, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.36 percent, and China's Shanghai Composite Index moved lower by 1.25 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.47 percent lower, while Germany's DAX Index was down 0.46 percent. The French CAC 40 Index was fell by 1.01 percent.