Sensex falls 110 points; banking, oil and gas stocks slump

Mumbai, Jan 31 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets fell 110 points Thursday due to profit-booking in banking, oil and gas and auto stocks, even as January derivatives expired.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the negative at 19,987.28 points, ended the day at 19,894.98, down 0.55 percent or 110.02 points from its previous day close at 20,005 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 20,008.83 points and low of 19,865.72 points in the intra-day. The expiry of January derivatives kept the markets volatile towards the end of the session.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed 0.35 percent or 21 points down at 6,034.75 points.

There was profit-booking in banking stocks, which had risen sharply this week due to rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Banking index of the BSE dropped 0.42 percent. Oil and gas index declined 0.42 percent, IT index fell 0.26 percent and auto index declined by 0.11 percent.

The country's largest lender ICICI Bank slumped 1.93 percent at Rs.1190.85 after rising by 6.5 percent in the previous day.

Other major Sensex losers were Tata Power, down 2.17 percent at Rs.101.20; HDFC Bank, down 1.87 percent at Rs.643.40; Bharti Airtel, down 1.52 percent at Rs.339.40; and RIL, down 1.39 percent at Rs.886.55.

Only 11 of the 30 Sensex scrips closed in the positive terrain. BHEL, up 2.36 percent at Rs.227.70; Sun Pharma, up 1.33 percent at Rs.718.25; Hero MotoCorp, up 1.31 percent at Rs.1823.40; and ITC, up 1.25 percent at Rs.307.40 were among the major Sensex gainers.

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