Sensex closes flat; bank, FMCG stocks plummet

Mumbai, July 31 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets closed flat a day after the Reserve Bank of India left all key policy rates unchanged and lowered growth prospects.

Interest sensitive stocks continued to take a hit. Scrips of bank, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), realty, power and capital goods companies plummetted.

However, there was good buying in metals, oil and gas, automobiles, information technology (IT) and technology, entertainment and media (TECk) stocks.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,304.07 points, closed at 19,345.70 points, down 2.64 points or 0.01 percent from previous day's close at 19,348.34 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 19,387.50 points and a low of 19,126.82 points intraday.

India's central bank had Tuesday left all key policy rates untouched to calm currency markets that saw a sharp depreciation of the rupee in recent months, while it conceded that risks to growth have increased and retail inflation has remained high.

Major sectoral indices of the S&P BSE which declined included bank, FMCG, realty, power and capital goods.

The bank index tanked 215.04 points, followed by FMCG index which was down 156.78 points, realty index was 31.05 points lower, power index was down 25.39 points, and capital goods index was 14.09 points down.

However, metal index was up 160.71 points followed by oil and gas index up 158.04 points, automobile index up 100.26 points, IT index was 95.27 points higher and TECk index moved 93.83 points up.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed Wednesday's trade down 13.05 points or 0.23 percent down at 5,742 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: Bharti Airtel, up 7.30 percent at Rs.344.90; Dr Reddy's Lab, up 4.73 percent at Rs.2,282.55; Hindalco Inds, up 4.34 percent at Rs.90.15; Wipro, up 4.18 percent at Rs.437.30; and BHEL, up 3.67 percent at Rs.158.25.

The main losers were: NTPC, down 5.33 percent at Rs.130.60; HDFC Bank, down 2.54 percent at Rs.609.70; ITC, down 2.52 percent at Rs.341.65; Hindustan Unilever, down 1.97 percent at Rs.613.45; and Sun Pharma, down 1.86 percent at Rs.564.05.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei declined 1.45 percent; Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down by 0.32 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index was up by 0.19 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.59 percent up; Germany's DAX Index was down by 0.39 percent and the French CAC 40 Index was up by 0.36 percent.

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