Sensex gains 158 points; metal, healthcare stocks up

Mumbai, Aug 12 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Monday closed nearly one percent or 158 points up, lead by healthy buying in metal, healthcare and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the positive at 18,898.94 points, closed at 18,946.98 points, up 157.64 points or 0.84 percent from its previous day close at 18,789.34 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 19,066.97 points and a low of 18,796.01 points intra-day.

Major sectors like metal, healthcare, FMCG, capital goods and automobile saw healthy buying. However, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in bank and oil and gas scrips.

The S&P BSE metal index closed higher by 310.17 points, healthcare index was up 176.21 points, FMCG index was higher by 150.06 points, capital goods index was up 146.82 points and automobile index was 74.45 points up.

However, the S&P BSE bank index lost 119.66 points, followed by oil and gas index which decreased by 42.37 points.

"New liquidity tightening measures announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had a negative impact on the banking stocks. The downtrend in banking stocks was aggravated by the poor asset quality of SBI (State Bank of India), which declared quarterly numbers," said Dipen Shah of Kotak Securities.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed 46.75 points or 0.84 percent up at 5,612.40 points.

A majority 20 companies of the 30-sensitive index were gainers. These included Jindal Steel, up 9.43 percent at Rs.226.95; Tata Steel, up 8.29 percent at Rs.236.55, Sun Pharma, up 6.60 percent at Rs.540.55; HDFC, up 3.23 percent at Rs.769.35, State Bank of India (SBI), up 4.44 percent at Rs.1,713.55; and Jindal Steel, up 4.30 percent at Rs.203.80.

The losers were: SBI, down 3.41 percent at Rs.1,604.80; Tata Power, down 3.28 percent at Rs.75.15; Reliance Industries (RIL), down 2.33 percent at Rs.845.30; Dr.Reddys Lab, down 1.75 percent at Rs.2,179.40; and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), down 1.70 percent at Rs.1,814.60.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 0.70 percent down in Monday's trade; Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up by 2.13 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index was higher by 2.39 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.29 percent down. Germany's DAX Index was 0.35 percent lower and the French CAC 40 Index was up 0.19 percent.

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