Sensex, Nifty retreat after touching record highs

Mumbai, April 3: A benchmark index of Indian equities markets closed trade Thursday in the negative territory on profit booking — but only after it touched a new high for the ninth straight session.

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) closed 42.42 points or 0.19 percent down after reaching an intra-day high of 22,620 points which surpassed its previous high level of 22,485.77 points reached Wednesday.

On Thursday, the 30-scrip Sensex, which opened at 22,598.19 points, closed at 22,509.07 points, down 42.42 points or 0.19 percent from its previous day’s close at 22,551.49 points.

It touched a high of 22,620.65 points and a low of 22,369.28 intra-day.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) too touched a new high of 6.776.75 points before closing trade at 6,736.10 points — down 16.45 points or 0.24 percent.

In Thursday’s trade, stocks like banks, capital goods and oil and gas came under sustained selling pressure. However, healthy buying was observed in healthcare, metals, and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).

The S&P BSE bank index lost 158.94 points, capital goods index was down 100.85 points, and oil and gas index declined by 84.76 points.

However, the healthcare index rose by 97.48 points, followed by metals index — up 35.42 points — and FMCG index — up 30.20 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: Hindustan Unilever, up 1.89 percent at Rs.606.90; Cipla, up 1.65 percent at Rs.396.25, DrReddys Lab, up 1.50 percent at Rs.2,663.15, HDFC, up 0.70 percent at Rs.903.55; and Hindalco Inds, up 0.70 percent at Rs.137.05.

The main losers were: BHEL, down 3.20 percent at Rs.187.60; Gail India, down 2.23 percent at Rs.368; Coal India, down 2.21 points at Rs.280.85; State Bank of India (SBI), down 1.97 points at Rs.1,895.35; and Axis Bank, down 1.96 percent at Rs.1,437.25.

Among the Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.84 percent up and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended 0.18 percent higher. However, China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.74 percent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was trading 0.07 percent down at the closing bell here — so was Germany’s DAX Index, down 0.06 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index was at a standstill.