Mumbai, Oct 6 (IANS) Negative global cues, coupled with lower crude oil prices and a weak rupee, dented the equity markets on Thursday.
The key indices closed the day’s trade in the red, as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in healthcare, automobile and banking stocks.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged down by 34.40 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 8,709.55 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 28,298.35 points, closed at 28,106.21 points — down 114.77 points, or 0.41 per cent, from the previous close at 28,220.98 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 28,328.56 points and a low of 28,031.22 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears — with 1,581 declines and 1,294 advances.
On Wednesday, both the key Indian indices ended in the red due to negative global cues, coupled with profit booking and disappointing macro-data.
The barometer index fell by 113.57 points, or 0.40 per cent, while the NSE Nifty edged down by 25.20 points, or 0.29 per cent.
Initially on Thursday, the benchmark indices opened on a higher note in sync with their Asian peers.
However, the global markets, especially the European markets, remained subdued over speculation on curtailment of stimulus measures by the European Central Bank (ECB).
The ECB will release the minutes of its last monetary policy meeting on Thursday evening.
Besides, caution prevailed ahead of key US macro-data on jobs to be released on Friday.
In addition, lower crude oil prices, profit booking and consolidation, and a depreciation in the rupee added to the downward trajectory.
The Indian rupee weakened by 20 paise to 66.70 against a US dollar from its previous close of 66.50 to a greenback.
“The short-covering rallies earlier in the week have been halted by consolidation and caution ahead of key global event risks,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.
“Lower crude oil prices and a weak rupee, too, dented the equity markets.”
Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, said the CNX Nifty traded with bearish sentiments throughout the session on selling pressure at higher levels.
“IT, banking and pharma stocks traded down on profit booking at higher levels. Auto stocks faced resistance at higher levels in the second half of the session,” Desai said.
“Aviation and cement stocks traded down on selling pressure. FMCG and power stocks traded with mixed sentiments. Firm USD/INR futures prices pressurized the Nifty price movement at higher levels.”
In terms of investments, provisional data with exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 353.80 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) divested scrip worth Rs 124.45 crore.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE healthcare index plunged 162.78 points, followed by the automobile index, which declined by 157.14 points, and the banking index fell by 156.85 points.
In contrast, the S&P BSE oil and gas index surged by 312.75 points, the energy index rose by 56.12 points, and the metal index gained by 6.98 points.
Major Sensex gainers during Thursday’s trade were: Gail, up 3.48 per cent at Rs 414.60; Reliance Industries, up 2.00 per cent at Rs 1,111.10; Hindustan Unilever (HUL), up 1.42 per cent at Rs 883.70; ONGC, up 0.73 per cent at Rs 268.70; and the Maruti Suzuki, up 0.35 per cent at Rs 5,711.60.
Major Sensex losers were: NTPC, down 2.42 per cent at Rs 149.05; Cipla, down 2.30 per cent at Rs 579.15; Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), down 1.90 per cent at Rs 1,372.30; Power Grid, down 1.60 per cent at Rs 177.90; and ICICI Bank, down 1.58 per cent at Rs 251.60.