Sensex falls 151 points; bank stocks down

Mumbai, Dec 19 : A benchmark index of Indian equities markets ended Thursday's trade 151 points, or 0.73 percent, down after the US Federal Reserve announced a $10 billion tapering of its bond buying programme.

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,959.80 points, closed at 20,708.62 points -- down 151.24 points or 0.73 percent from its previous day's close at 20,859.86 points.

The benchmark touched a high of 21,017.45 intra-day and a low of 20,646.03 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed Thursday's trade down 50.50 points or 0.81 percent down at 6,166.65 points.

The US Fed's decision to trim its bond buying programme to $75 billion a month came in after Wednesday meeting of the Fed's open market committee.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the country is better prepared now to deal with the consequences of the situation arising out of the US Federal Reserve's decision to slash US bond purchases and the markets have already factored in the impact arising out of such a decision.

"The government is of the view that the markets had already factored in the US Federal Reserve's decision and, therefore, are not likely to be surprised by these moderate changes. Besides, we are better prepared than in May 2013 to deal with the consequences, if any, of the US Federal Reserve's decisions," he said in a statement.

He said the government has taken note of the statement issued by the US Federal Reserve on the 'taper'. "This morning, I spoke to Raghuram Rajan, Governor, RBI."

In Thursday's trade healthy buying was observed in information technology (IT), healthcare and technology, entertainment and media (TECk) sectors. However, bank, capital goods and oil and gas stocks plummeted.

The S&P BSE IT index was up 151.93 points followed by healthcare index which gained 106.04 points and technology, entertainment and media (TECk) index was 61.54 points up.

The S&P BSE bank index was down 314.83 points, capital goods index was down 194.84 points and oil and gas index fell 104.90 points.

Major Sensex gainers were: Maruti Suzuki, up 2.97 percent at Rs.1,780.70; Sesa Sterlite, up 1.79 percent at Rs.204.95; Sun Pharma, 1.69 percent at Rs.582.85; Cipla, up 1.65 percent at Rs.399.55; and Infosys, up 1.64 percent at Rs.3,514.45.

The main losers were: ICICI Bank, down 3.02 percent at Rs.1,063.70; Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 2.96 percent at Rs.1,061.15; HDFC, down 2.76 percent at Rs.776.45; ONGC, down 2.63 percent at Rs.273.60; and HDFC Bank, down 2.16 percent at Rs.653.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.74 percent up and China's Shanghai Composite Index was lower by 0.95 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.10 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.99 percent up, Germany's DAX Index was higher by 1.36 percent and the French CAC 40 Index gained by 1.17 percent.

--IANS (Posted on 19-12-2013)

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