Sensex closes 64 points down, oil and gas stocks plunge

Mumbai, Sep 25 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets closed Wednesday's trade 64 points or 0.32 percent lower ahead of derivatives expiry. Volatility in the rupee value also contributed to the bearish mood.

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,947.43 points, closed at 19,856.24 points, down 63.97 points or 0.32 percent from its previous day's close at 19,920.21 points.

The benchmark Sensex touched a high of 19,978.49 points and a low of 19,658.74 points in the day's trade.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed in the negative territory. It closed lower by 18.60 points or 0.32 percent at 5,873.85 points.

The market remained volatile ahead of the derivatives expiry. The bearish sentiment in the market was also due to continued weakness in rupee value against the dollar and a surprise rate hike Friday last by the Reserve Bank of India. The partially convertible Indian rupee touched the day's low of 62.88.

Sector-wise, oil and gas, bank, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), consumer durables and automobile scrips sustained heavy losses.

The S&P BSE oil and gas index lost 116.09 points, bank index was down 108.50 points, FMCG index was lower by 77.75 points; consumer durables index was down 20.94 points and automobile index was lower by 8.09 points.

However, healthcare, capital goods, metal, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and power stocks made gains.

Healthy buying took place in healthcare stocks. The S&P BSE healthcare index increased by 117.64 points, followed by capital goods index which was up 114.18 points; metal index was higher by 100.71 points; PSU index, up 51.29 points and power index closed the day's trade up 28.03 points.

The prominent Sensex gainers were: BHEL, up 7.69 percent at Rs.141.45; Hindalco Inds, up 4.19 percent at Rs.116.80; Sesa Goa, up 3.74 percent at Rs.188.70; NTPC, up 2.58 percent at Rs.149 and State Bank of India (SBI), up 2.39 percent at Rs.1,686.35.

The losers were: Reliance Industries, down 2.93 percent at Rs.848.70; HDFC Bank, down 2.78 percent at Rs.621.55; Mahindra and Mahindra, down 2.62 percent at Rs.849.70; Hindustan Unilever, down 1.52 percent at Rs.633.50; and ITC, down 1.36 percent at Rs.345.05.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 0.76 percent down, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained by 0.13 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index was lower by 0.41 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.42 percent down and Germany's DAX Index was higher by 0.34 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index was up by 0.43 percent.