Sensex closes flat, healthcare stocks plummet

Mumbai, Sep 16 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Monday closed flat in a volatile trade on domestic and global cues.

The markets were cautious as India's wholesale price inflation figures came as did the report about the US Federal Reserve chief hopeful Lawrence Summers dropping out of the race.

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,977.38 points, closed at 19,742.47 points, up 9.71 points or 0.05 percent from its previous day's close at 19,732.76 points.

The benchmark Sensex touched a high of 20,086.43 and a low of 19,596.15 points intraday.

However, the wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) marginally lost in the day's trade. It closed 10.05 points or 0.17 percent down at 5,840.55 points.

The headline inflation, measured in terms of the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), accelerated to 6.1 percent in August as against 5.79 percent in July. The WPI was driven by more than 18 percent jump in food prices.

Healthy buying was observed in bank, automobile, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and public sector undertakings (PSUs) stocks.

However, heavy selling took place in most of the sectors, including healthcare, information technology (IT), metal, capital goods and technology, entertainment and media (TECk) sectors.

The S&P bank index gained 215.23 points, automobile index closed the day's trade up by 41.90 points, FMCG index was up 25.43 points, and PSU index was 6.86 points higher.

The healthcare index was 231.96 points lower, IT index dropped by 144.53 points, metal index was down 89.69 points, capital goods index slipped 80.76 points, and TECk index 54.76 points.

Only 12 of the 30 scrips on the sensitive index were gainers in the day's trade. These included ICICI Bank, up 3.11 percent at Rs.969.80; Bharti Airtel, up 2.95 percent at Rs.335.40; Maruti Suzuki, up 2.94 percent at Rs.1,359.40; HDFC Bank, up 2.21 percent at Rs.643.10; and Hero MotoCorp, up 2.09 percent at Rs.2,095.30.

The main losers were: BHEL, down 4.60 percent at Rs.135.80; Sesa Goa, down 3.62 percent at Rs.177.20; Tata Power, down 2.49 percent at Rs.76.30; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), down 2.48 percent at Rs.1,901.80; and Cipla, down 2.30 percent at Rs.430.45.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 0.84 percent up, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended the day's trade 1.18 percent up. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.81 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.12 percent up, while Germany's DAX Index was higher by 1.47 percent. The French CAC 40 Index was 0.22 percent down.

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