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Sensex down 73 points ahead of RBI policy announcement


Mumbai, Dec 17 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets fell 73 points Monday on profit booking a day ahead of Reserve Bank of India’s mid-quarter monetary policy review and on government lowering the growth forecast for the financial year.

Good buying was seen in metals, auto and healthcare stocks, while information technology (IT), capital goods and technology, entertainment and media (TECk) stocks declined.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,290.92 points, closed at 19,244.42 points, down 72.83 points or 0.38 percent from its previous close at 19,317.25 points.

The index touched a high of 19,346.78 points and a low of 19,221.87 points intra-day. The BSE midcap index was up 41.42 points, while the smallcap index edged higher by 33.61 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was down 21.70 points or 0.37 percent at 5,857.90 points.

The Reserve Bank will present the mid-quarter monetary policy review Dec 18 amid calls for a drastic CRR cut or reduction in the repo rate to help revive growth.

The government Monday lowered the growth projection for the current financial year to 5.7-5.9 per cent from 7.6 per cent estimated earlier owing to adverse global and domestic conditions.

The BSE metals index closed 185.71 points up. The auto index was higher by 74.33 points, followed by healthcare index, up 33.93 points.

However, the IT index closed down by 68.09 points, the capital goods index was lower by 47.23 points and the TECk index decreased by 44.31 points.

Among the gainers were Sterlite Inds, up 4.06 percent at Rs.117.80; Hindalco Inds, up 3.46 percent at Rs.124.15; Jindal Steel, up 2.36 percent at Rs.440.65; Maruti Suzuki, up 1.70 percent at Rs.1,499.45; and Tata Power, up 1.34 percent at Rs.106.15.

Jet Airways shares touched a 52-week high high on the back of reports that the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad airline was in final stages of investing in the company.

The scrip at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) jumped by 4.53 percent at Rs.636.70 per share from its previous close of Rs.609.10 Friday. It closed at Rs.623.40, up 14.30 points or 2.35 percent from its previous close of Rs.609.10 Friday.

The major losers were Bharti Airtel, 3.69 percent lower at Rs.300.45; TCS, down 2.38 percent at Rs.1,205.85; HDFC, down 1.85 percent at Rs.836.60; BHEL, down 1.76 percent at Rs.220.95; and HDFC Bank, down 1.60 percent at Rs.677.65.

Among other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.94 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 0.41 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index also closed higher by 0.45 percent.

The European markets were down. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.61 percent while the German DAX was trading higher by 0.23 percent. The French CAC 40 was down 0.64 percent.


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