Sensex falls for seventh day

Mumbai, August 1 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets fell for the seventh consecutive day Thursday, closing 29 points down.

All the sectors traded in red, except the banking index (bankex). Selling pressure was observed in oil and gas, auto, public sector undertakings (PSU) and metal sectors.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,443.29 points, closed at 19,317.19 points, down 28.51 points or 0.15 percent from the previous day's close at 19,345.70 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 19,569.20 points and a low of 19,170.46 points intra-day.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended 0.25 percent or 14.15 points down at 5,727.85 points.

The S&P BSE oil and gas index plunged by 222.72 points, auto index dropped by 159.71 points, PSU index slipped by 150.35 points and metal index went down by 126.35 points. However, bankex surged by 137.76 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: HDFC Bank, up 3.67 percent at Rs.632.10; Hindustan Unilever, up 3.37 percent at Rs.634.15; HDFC, up 2.18 percent at Rs.816.90; and Gail India, up 1.14 percent at Rs.305.00.

The main losers were: Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, down 4.80 percent at Rs.150.65; Mahindra & Mahindra, down 4.42 percent at Rs.871.80; Coal India, down 3.94 percent at Rs.270.35; and ONGC, down 3.64 percent at Rs.280.30.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei rose by 2.47 percent; Hong Kong's Hang Seng went up by 0.94 percent; South Korean KOSPI gained 0.35 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index increased by 1.77 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.29 percent up; Germany's DAX Index was up by 1.17 percent and the French CAC 40 Index was up by 0.50 percent.

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