Sensex edges lower; healthcare stocks gain

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Wednesday closed lower on the back of profit-booking, snapping three days of gains.

Healthy buying was seen in healthcare, consumer durables and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) stocks. However, scrips in banks, metal and realty sectors took a plunge.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,202.51 points, closed at 20,147.64 points, down 13.18 points or 0.07 percent from its previous day's close at 20160.82 points.

Sensex touched a high of 20,216.49 points and a low of 20,044.74 points in intra-day trade.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed the day at 0.11 percent or 6.95 points down at 6,104.30 points.

The S&P BSE healthcare index closed by 159.89 points up, while consumer durables index inched 63.54 points up and the FMCG index moved higher by 39.46 points. However, bank index was down by 120.89 points, followed by metal index down 100.58 points, and realty index down 45.73 points.

The prominent Sensex gainers were: Sun Pharma, up 7.09 percent at Rs.1,066.10; Tata Motors, up 2.69 percent at Rs.303.80; Hero MotoCorp, up 2.39 percent at Rs.1,787.45; Coal India, up 1.30 percent at Rs.327.15 and Cipla, up 1.26 percent at Rs.401.55.

Among the major losers were Sterlite Inds, down 2.53 percent at Rs.92.40; Tata Steel, down 2.27 percent at Rs.314.05; Jindal Steel, down 1.98 percent at Rs.300.20; Gail India, down 1.50 percent at Rs.321.65 and ICICI Bank, down 1.38 percent at Rs.1,215.70.

Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 0.10 percent higher, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng went 1.61 percent down. China's Shanghai Composite Index also closed 0.12 percent higher.

Major European markets were also trading in the negative territory. Britain's FTSE 100 was trading 1.53 percent lower, while German DAX was down 1.72 percent. And so was the French CAC 40, down 1.38 percent.

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