Sensex trades flat, auto and bank stocks plummet

Mumbai, Jan 16 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets was trading flat in late afternoon trade Wednesday with automobile and bank stocks plummeting.

The sober sentiment in the market came a day after the benchmark index breached the 20,000 points due to the union government's decision not to implement till 2016 the new tax avoidance law announced in the budget of 2012-13 and on the possibility of a rate cut by the central bank.

The BSE Sensex, which opened at 19,978.19 points, was at 19,890.22 points around 1.15 p.m. -- down 96.60 points or 0.48 percent from its previous close at 19,986.82 points.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) crossed the 20,000 points gain a day after it crossed the psychological barrier for the first time since January 2011.

The BSE Sensex touched an intra-day high of 20,009.36 points and a low of 19,884.97 points.

The BSE midcap index was down 63.46 points, while the smallcap index was higher by 45.47 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading flat -- down 30.70 points or 0.51 percent at 6,025.90 points.

Major indices like automobile, metal, bank, capital goods and public sector undertakings (PSU) were hit by profit booking trend which led to a selling spree.

In the Sensex sectoral indices, automobile index was down 224.73 points, followed by bank index, which was lower by 147.17 points, metal index, down 137.97 points, capital goods index down 69.63 points and PSU index which lost 56.53 points.

In terms of gainers, oil and gas index was up 69.03 points, while the healthcare index was up 15.27 points and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) index was higher by 7.67 points.

Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei was down 2.56 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was lower by 0.23 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index was lower by 0.70 percent.

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