Sensex closes flat; interest sensitive stocks rise

Mumbai, Dec 3:

A day after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept key interest rates unchanged, a benchmark index of Indian equities markets closed Wednesday’s trade flat.

The markets which were sluggish during the day’s trade, ended on a marginal negative note a day after the RBI kept the key interest rates unchanged in its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review held here.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan said that a change in the monetary policy at the current juncture will be premature and that he will wait for the decrease in inflation to continue.

However, he also mentioned the possibility of a rate cut early next year if the current downturn in inflation momentum continues.

He even predicted an interest rate reduction outside the policy review cycle. This lead a rally in interest sensitive stocks like auto, capital goods and banks. Oil and gas sectors too rose in the day’s trade.

Heavy selling pressure was observed in information technology (IT) and technology, entertainment and media (TECK) scrips.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 28,472.32 points, closed at 28,442.71 points, down 1.30 points from the previous day’s close at 28,444.01 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 28,504.65 points and a low of 28,370.73 points in the day’s trade.

“After a positive opening, the markets remained in range throughout the day, despite strong macro data’s. The services sector data came out today, which rose at its fastest pace in five months on the back of faster growth in new business orders,” said Alex Mathews, head research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

The HSBC India Services PMI rose to 52.6 in November from 50 in October.

The S&P auto index gained by 255.69 points, capital goods index went up by 156.69 points, and oil and gas index rose by 104.41 points.

However, information technology (IT) index was lower by 21.18 points and TECK index dipped by 9.60 points.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also was flat. It was up 12.95 points or 0.15 percent at 8,537.65 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: ONGC, up 2.98 percent at Rs.371.90; BHEL, up 2.50 percent at Rs.278.30; NTPC, up 1.67 percent at Rs.142.75; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 1.57 percent at Rs.1,285.45; and Hindustan Unilever, up 1.55 percent at Rs.817.30.

The major Sensex losers were: DrReddy, down 2.43 percent at Rs.3,505.70; HDFC, down 1.83 percent at Rs.1,104.20; Bharti Airtel, down 1.72 percent at Rs.377.70; Hindalco Inds, down 1.49 percent at Rs.168.85; and HDFC Bank, down 1.09 percent at Rs.932.45. (IANS)

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