Weak global cues, healthcare stocks subdue equity indices (Roundup)

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Mumbai, Aug 9 (IANS) The key Indian equity indices — the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty50 — extended their losses for the third consecutive session to close on a subdued note on Wednesday as investors booked profits.

According to market observers, sentiments were hampered by weak global markets on the back of geo-political tensions, coupled with heavy selling pressure in healthcare, automobile and banking stocks, and outflow of foreign funds.

The NSE Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) tested the psychologically important 9,900-level and closed 70.50 points or 0.71 per cent lower at 9,908.05 points.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE slipped below the 32,000-level and closed at 31,797.84 points — down 216.35 points, or 0.68 per cent from its previous close at 32,014.19 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 31,967.28 points and a low of 31,731.91 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of bears — with 2,003 declines and 575 advances.

In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index declined by 1.66 per cent and the small-cap index by 1.69 per cent.

“Markets ended sharply lower on Wednesday as selling intensified in the last hour of trade. It was the third consecutive session of losses. Weakness in global stocks amid escalating geopolitical tensions between US and North Korea weighed on sentiment on the domestic bourses,” Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“Major Asian markets ended on a negative note, barring the Jakarta index. European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 traded lower,” said Jasani.

On the currency front, the rupee closed at 63.83-84 to a US dollar.

In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold scrips worth Rs 841.44 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 553.17 crore.

According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, benchmark indices closed in red, with Nifty50 hovering around the 9,900 levels, following weakness in global markets after a flare-up in geopolitical tensions following North Korea’s nuclear tests.

“Realty stocks have been on fire with the Nifty Realty index topping the sectoral chart on year-to-date basis on the hopes of a turnaround and transparency in the sector post the implementation of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) and GST,” added Desai.

All the 19 sub-indices on the BSE ended in the red. The S&P BSE healthcare index lost the most, which tumbled by 511.43 points, followed by the automobile index by 416.77 points, and the banking index by 245.84 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: NTPC, up 1.25 per cent at Rs 173.55; ONGC, up 0.98 per cent at Rs 165.55; Asian Paints, up 0.84 per cent at Rs 1,155.25; HDFC, up 0.63 per cent at Rs 1,731.45; and Infosys, up 0.50 per cent at Rs 969.45.

Major Sensex losers were: Sun Pharma, down 5.13 per cent at Rs 474.75; Adani Ports, down 4.12 per cent at Rs 396.95; Tata Motors, down 3.17 per cent at Rs 416.75; Cipla, down 2.83 per cent at Rs 561.90; and Bajaj Auto, down 2.77 per cent at Rs 2,833.05.

–IANS

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