Sensex closes 286 points down, FMCG stocks plummet

Mumbai, July 25 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Thursday fell 286 points on negative global cues and derivative expiry.

There was heavy selling pressure in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), healthcare, metal, oil and gas and capital goods. However, automobile and technology, entertainment and media (TECk) stocks gained.

The sentiment was bearish after the Reserve Bank of India's decision Tuesday to curb additional liquidity tightening measures to check the rupee's slide.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,062 points, closed at 19,804.76 points, down 285.92 points or 1.42 percent from the previous close of 20,090.68 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 20,110.81 points and a low of 19,763.90 points during the day's trade.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), however, ended 1.39 percent or 83 points up at 5,907.50 points.

"The market continued its downward slide today (Thursday) partially fuelled by negative global cues as the Dow and S&P 500 had finished in negative territory on Wednesday," said Sanjeev Zarbade, vice president of Kotak Securities.

"It (Thursday) is also the expiry day for derivative contracts. Going forward, markets would now focus on the upcoming monetary policy meeting at the end of the month for clues on the future direction of interest rates."

The S&P BSE FMCG index lost 250.71 points followed by healthcare index, down 152.42 points, metal index, down 127.39 points, oil and gas index, down 121.79 points and capital goods index, down 114.58 points.

However, the BSE automobile index was up 15.27 points and the TECk index was up 8.76 points.

The major Sensex gainers were Hero MotoCorp, up 4.06 percent at Rs.1,829.10; Tata Motors, up 0.79 percent at Rs.299.85; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 0.60 percent at Rs.1,793.35; Infosys, up 0.29 percent at Rs.2,915.90; and Bajaj Auto, up 0.04 percent at Rs.2,003.35.

The main Sensex losers were ITC, down 4.57 percent at Rs.358.80; Wipro, down 4.01 percent at Rs.376.25; Hindustan Unilever, down 3.21 percent at Rs.686.50; Tata Power, down 3.19 percent at Rs.89.45; and Sun Pharma, down 2.99 percent at Rs.1,093.85.

Other Asian markets closed in the red. Japan's Nikkei closed 1.14 percent down, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.31 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.60 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.80 percent down. So were Germany's DAX, down 0.88 percent, and the French CAC 40, lower by 0.70 percent.

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