Sensex closes flat; healthcare stocks gain

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    Mumbai, (IANS) A benchmark index of the Indian equities markets closed flat Tuesday, a day after it plummeted to its lowest levels since May last year.

    The benchmark index had closed Monday’s trade 2.14 percent or 430.65 points down on profit-booking, weak global cues and widening of trade deficit to $17.78 billion from $14.04 billion in March last year.

    On Tuesday, there was healthy buying in healthcare, public sector undertaking (PSU) and metal stocks. However, consumer durables, realty, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) scrips declined.

    The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the positive territory at 19,715.80 points, closed the day’s trade at 19,722.29 points, up 30.62 points or 0.16 percent from its previous day close at 19,691.67 points.

    Sensex touched a high of 19,831.79 points and low of 19,652.69 points in intra-day.

    The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading flat 14.95 points or 0.25 percent up at 5,995.40 points.

    The BSE healthcare index was up 59.53 points, followed by PSU index, higher by 32.62 points, and oil and gas index, up 28.38 points.

    Stocks of consumer durables, realty and FMCG companies, however, plummeted.

    The consumer durables index closed 88.44 points lower. And so were the realty index, down 7.16 points, and FMCG index, down 6.15 points.

    Of the 30 sensitive stocks on the BSE, 15 closed in positive territory. These included Sun Pharma, up 2.03 percent at Rs.963.65; ONGC, up 1.78 percent at Rs.326.50; Bharti Airtel, up 1.78 percent at Rs.317.20; Gail India, up 1.57 percent at Rs.337.35 and Tata Motors, up 0.96 percent at Rs.300.50.

    The major Sensex losers were: Dr Reddys Lab, down 2.66 percent at Rs.2,025.65; Bajaj Auto, down 1.87 percent at Rs.1,783.70; Coal India, down 0.69 percent at Rs.294.95; Mahindra and Mahindra, down 0.67 percent at Rs.950.45; and BHEL, down 0.66 percent at Rs.188.95.

    Among other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.16 percent lower, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng went down by 0.26 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed lower by 1.11 percent.

    In the European markets, Britain’s FTSE 100 was trading 0.16 percent up and so was the German DAX, up 0.27 percent. The French CAC 40 was ruling 0.02 percent down.