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Posted on Feb 08, 07:32PM | IANS
Mumbai, Feb 8 : A benchmark index for Indian equities markets closed nearly half a percent down Friday, a day after the government lowered its growth forecast for the current fiscal to five percent.
Scrips of automobile, oil and gas and healthcare stocks came under sustained selling. While those of information technology (IT), capital goods and technology, entertainment and media (TECk) stocks rallied.
The 30-scrip Sensex, which opened at 19,577.19 points, closed at 19,484.77 points, down 95.55 points or 0.49 percent from its previous close at 19,580.32 points.
The Sensex touched an intra-day high of 19,648.07 points and a low of 19,414.80 points. The midcap index was down 49.06 points, while the smallcap index edged lower by 64.96 points.
The wider 50-scrip S and P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed trading lower by 35.30 points or 0.59 percent at 5,903.50 points.
Traders reported a weak trend a day after the government lowered its growth forecast for the current fiscal to five percent, the slowest growth rate in the last decade, due to poor performance of manufacturing, agriculture as well as services sector
Among major indices, the automobile index was down 129.17 points. And so were the oil and gas index, down 104.26 points, and the healthcare index, down 84.66 points.
However, the IT index was up 55.33 points, followed by the capital goods index, up 48.70 points, and the TECk index, up 26.14 points.
The major Sensex gainers were Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 2.58 percent at Rs.1,423.25; Wipro, up 1.57 percent at Rs.411.45; HDFC Bank, up 1.24 percent at Rs.649.65; BHEL, up 1.21 percent at Rs.208.50; and Larsen and Toubro (L and T), up 0.89 percent at Rs.1,509.35.
Twenty one of the 30 Sensex scrips declined. These included Cipla, down 3.34 percent at Rs.380.90; Sterlite Inds, down 3.20 percent at Rs.101.25; Hindalco Inds, down 3.18 percent at Rs.109.75, Maruti Suzuki, down 2.27 percent at Rs.1,588.30; and ONGC, down 2.02 percent at Rs.313.45.
Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.80 percent lower, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended 0.16 percent up. China's Shanghai Composite Index closed up by 0.54 percent.
In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.47 percent, while the German DAX was trading 0.32 percent higher. The French CAC 40 was up 0.63 percent.