Sensex closes flat, capital goods and bank stocks plummet

Mumbai, Feb 6 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets closed flat in Wednesday's trade as capital goods and bank and public sector undertakings (PSU) stocks plummeted.

The 30-scrip Sensex, which opened at 19,737.77 points, closed at 19,639.72 points, down 20.10 points or 0.10 percent from its previous close at 19,659.82 points.

The Sensex touched an intra-day high of 19,767.25 points and a low of 19,611.27 points. The midcap index was marginally up 1.60 points, while the smallcap index was higher by 16.79 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed higher by 2.30 points or 0.04 percent at 5,959.20 points.

There was a heavy selling pressure in capital goods and bank and PSU stocks. However, metal, information technology (IT) and technology, communication and entertainment (TECk) stocks rallied.

Major indices like the capital goods index closed 95.94 points lower, bank index was down 48.42 points and the PSU index down 42.64 points.

The IT index was up 39.55 points. The Metal index was up 30.38 points. And so was the TECk index, which was higher by 22.69 points.

The major Sensex gainers were Jindal Steel, up 2.69 percent at Rs.424.05; Maruti Suzuki, up 1.61 percent at Rs.1,626.20; HDFC, up 1.25 percent at Rs.807.80; Tata Consultation Services (TCS), up 0.82 percent at Rs.1,371.00; and Hindalco Inds, up 0.79 percent at Rs.114.50.

Eighteen of the 30 Sensex scrips declined. These included NTPC, down 2.12 percent at Rs.152.30; Coal India, down 2.03 percent at Rs.342.40; BHEL, down 1.72 percent at Rs.208.55, Hindustan Unilever, down 1.60 percent at Rs.454.90; and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 1.23 percent at Rs.1,514.60.

Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 3.77 percent higher while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended 0.47 percent up. China's Shanghai Composite Index closed marginally up by 0.06 percent.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.33 percent, while the German DAX was trading 0.23 percent lower. The French CAC 40 was down 0.64 percent.

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