Sensex closes flat, global cues, auto stocks dampen sentiments

Sensex closes flat, global cues, auto stocks dampen sentiments

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,394.57 points, closed at 18,382.86 points (provisional) -- down 11.43 points or 0.06 percent from its previous close at 18,394.29 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also ended subdued at 5,521.05 points, down 0.1 percent. Broader markets also ended flat, with the BSE midcap index closing 0.12 percent lower and the BSE smallcap index moving 0.08 percent up from its previous close.

The market breadth was mixed with 1,388 stocks advancing, 1,402 on the decline and 137 remaining unchanged. Auto stocks were among major losers after an industry body said Thursday that domestic car sales had grown by a modest 7 percent, sparking concerns of a slowdown in the sector.

Gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex included NTPC, up 1.74 percent at Rs.177.95; L&T, up 1.27 percent at Rs.1,722; BHEL, up 0.91 percent at Rs.1,933.20; and RIL, up 0.71 percent at Rs.954.10. The losers were ONGC, down 1.8 percent at Rs.265.20; SBI, down 1.31 percent at Rs.2,263.15; Hero Honda, down 1.29 percent at Rs.1,745.40, Reliance Communications, down 1.27 percent at Rs.93.05; and Tata Motors, down 0.75 percent at Rs.1,020.65.

According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, foreign institutional investors bought scrips worth $39.19 million Thursday. Global markets were ruling dull with traders cautious after US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday that the US economic recovery had slowed in recent weeks.

The Nikkei of the Japanese stock exchange closed 0.19 percent up at 9,467.15 points, while the Hang Seng of the Hong Kong stock exchange shed 0.23 percent to end at 22,609.83 points. The Chinese Shanghai composite index closed 1.71 percent lower at 2,703.35 points.

European markets too were sombre as investors were worried that debt-laden Greece might require more funds to tide over its sovereign financial problems. Banking stocks weighed heavy before a decision on interest rates by the European Central Bank.

Britain's FTSE was ruling flat at 5,809.25 points. Around midday, the French CAC 40 was up a meagre 0.06 percent at 3,840.19 points, while the German DAX was up 0.2 percent at 7,074.35 points.

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