Sensex closes flat; bank stocks down

Mumbai, Oct 7 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Monday closed flat -- a mere 21 points lower -- on weak global cues due to US budget standoff that has led to a partial federal government shutdown.

Markets were also cautious as the deadline for the US deficit ceiling limit looms near. The US policy makers have time till Oct 17 to raise the country's borrowing limit.

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,880.94 points, closed at 19,895.10 points, down 20.85 points or 0.10 percent from Friday's close at 19,915.95 points.

The Sensex saw a high of 19,921.38 points and a low of 19,647.88 points in the day's trade.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also made marginal gains. The index increased merely by 1.95 points or 0.03 percent at 5,909.25 points.

Sector-wise, information technology (IT), healthcare, metal, technology, entertainment and media (TECk) and power companies scrip gained.

However, banks, capital goods, public sector undertakings (PSU), oil and gas and automobile stocks declined.

The S&P BSE IT index gained 97.22 points, healthcare index was up 83.18 points, followed by metal index which was higher by 79.66 points, TECK index rose 40.48 points and power index increased by 6.91 points.

Heavy selling pressure was observed in bank index, which was down 135.21 points, capital goods index was down 31.33 points, PSU index was down 22.45 points, oil and gas index was lower by 22.29 points and automobile index declined by 22.08 points.

The prominent Sensex gainers were: Tata Steel, up 4.13 percent at Rs.300.35; Hindalco Inds, up 3.22 percent at Rs.121.65; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 2.52 percent at Rs.2,084.05; Jindal Steel, up 1.59 percent at Rs.240.20; and BHEL, up 1.53 percent at Rs.146.15.

The losers were: Coal India, down 3.19 percent at Rs.300.10; Bharti Airtel, down 1.71 percent at Rs.322.55; ICICI Bank, down 1.50 percent at Rs.916.45; Maruti Suzuki, down 1.46 percent at Rs.1,406.85; and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 1.37 percent at Rs.808.85.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.21 percent down; Hong Kong's Hang Seng was lower by 0.71 percent; South Korea's KOSPI was down by 0.13 percent; and Singapore's Straits Times index was lower by 0.05 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.94 percent down, while Germany's DAX Index was lower by 1.10 percent. The French CAC 40 was down by 0.97 percent.

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