Sensex extends losses for eighth day; sheds 153 points

Mumbai, Aug 2 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets continued its fall for the eighth straight day Friday, losing more than half a percent or 153 points in volatile trade. The government's announcement of a slew of reform measures a day before failed to shore up sentiment at the bourse.

Scrips of metal, bank, public sector undertakings (PSU), capital goods and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) saw heavy7 selling. However, consumer durables, information technology (IT) and technology, entertainment and media (TECk) stocks gained.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,399.55 points, closed at 19,164.02 points, down 153.17 points or 0.79 percent from the previous day's close at 19,317.19 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 19,451.70 points and a low of 19,078.72 points in the trade so far.

The S&P BSE metal index plunged by 246.55 points, bank index dropped by 157.37 points, PSU index slipped by 140 points, capital goods index lost 125.78 points and FMCG index dipped by 95.20 points. However, consumer durables index closed Friday's trade up by 332.52 points, followed by IT index up 71.60 points and TECk index up 23.66 points.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed Friday's trade down 49.95 points or 0.87 percent down at 5,677.90 points.

The renewed depreciation of the rupee also adversely affected trading. "Consistent weakness in the rupee, despite RBI's (Reserve Bank of India) and government's efforts, has impacted sentiments," said Dipen Shah, head, private client group research, Kotak Securities.

The major Sensex gainers were: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 1.66 percent at Rs.1,845.35; Infosys, up 1.04 percent at Rs.3,006.70; Reliance Industries (RIL), up 0.84 percent at Rs.857.45; Wipro, up 0.58 percent at Rs.438.75; and Tata Motors, up 0.45 percent at Rs.290.45.

The main losers were: Jindal Steel, down 7.29 percent at Rs.186.90; Coal India, down 5.84 percent at Rs.254.55; Tata Power, down 3.93 percent at Rs.84.35; Sterlite Inds, down 3.92 percent at Rs.72.30; and Tata Steel, down 3.74 percent at Rs.202.30.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei declined 0.23 percent; Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up by 0.05 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index was marginally down by 0.01 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 3.29 percent up; Germany's DAX Index was down by 0.46 percent and the French CAC 40 Index was up by 0.02 percent.

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