Mumbai, Dec 27 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets closed nearly half a percent down Thursday as heavy selling pressure led to decline in metal, oil and gas and capital goods stocks.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,479.84 points, closed at 19,323.80 points -- down by 93.66 points or 0.48 percent from its previous close at 19,417.46 points.
The BSE Sensex touched an intra-day high of 19,504.40 points and a low of 19,302.21 points. The BSE midcap index was down 32.00 points, while the smallcap index was lower by 54.13 points.
The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was down 35.50 points or 0.60 percent at 5,870.10 points.
The BSE metal index was down 71.79 points. The oil and gas index was down 57.50 points and the capital goods index down 55.54 points.
However, the auto index increased by 10.23 points. The public sector undertakings (PSU) index was up 6.55 points.
Among major gainers were Tata Motors, up 1.34 percent at Rs.309.50; ONGC, up 0.86 percent at Rs.259.40; State Bank of India (SBI), up 0.74 percent at Rs.2,388.80; Dr Reddys Lab, up 0.59 percent at Rs.1,829.00; and Bharti Airtel, up 0.38 percent at Rs.318.65.
The main losers were BHEL, 1.74 percent lower at Rs.226.15; Jindal Steel, down 1.68 percent at Rs.446.90; Sterlite Industries, down 1.59 percent at Rs.114.25; Gail India, down 1.57 percent at Rs.347.85; and Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), down 1.47 percent at Rs.931.00.
Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.91 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.35 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index closed lower by 0.60 percent.
The European markets were all in green. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.23 percent while the German DAX was trading higher by 0.27 percent. The French CAC 40 was up 0.41 percent.