Mumbai– Snapping a six-day gaining streak, the key Indian equity indices on Thursday closed in the red on the back of heavy selling pressure in auto, IT and consumer durables stocks.

According to market observers, caution on January futures and options (F&O) expiry, along with rising crude oil prices infused volatility in the equity markets.

On a closing basis, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange fell by 16.35 points or 0.15 per cent to 11,069.65 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 36,050.44 points — down 111.20 points or 0.31 per cent from its previous session’s close.

The BSE market breadth was bearish as 1,735 stocks declined against 1,115 advances.

In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index closed lower by 0.75 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.68 per cent.

On Wednesday, the benchmark indices had closed at new highs. The Nifty50 closed at 11,086 points and the Sensex at 36,161.64 points.

“Markets ended with marginal losses on Thursday ahead of a long weekend. Thursday was also the derivatives expiry day,” Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“The losses came after six consecutive sessions of gains for the Nifty,” said Jasani.

On the global front, major Asian markets closed on a negative note, barring the Taiwan and Kospi indices, while European indices like FTSE 100 and CAC 40 traded in the green.

Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors purchased scrips worth Rs 937.31 crore, while domestic institutional investors divested stocks worth Rs 965.67 crore.

The Indian rupee strengthened by 15 paise to close at 63.55 against the US dollar from its previous close at 63.70.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Today, market witnessed broad based selling pressure amidst advancing crude prices which has touched a high of $71/bbl. Volatility heighted due to F&O expiry and long weekend.

“Post announcement of government’s first tranche recapitalisation, a major sell off was seen in PSU banking stocks as market was concerned about higher allocation of capital to weakest banks which has recently seen sharp run-up in stocks prices,” Nair added.

All the sub-indices of the BSE ended with losses, barring the S&P metals index which surged by 131.08 points and the capital goods index up 77.28 points.

Sectorwise, the S&P BSE auto index declined by 305.23 points, consumer durables index by 221.11 points and IT index by 145.45 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: ICICI Bank, up 1.60 per cent at Rs 358.30; Coal India, up 1.56 per cent at Rs 299.65; Kotak Bank, up 0.99 per cent at Rs 1,091.45; Axis Bank, up 0.96 per cent at Rs 613.75; and Larsen and Toubro, up 0.90 per cent at Rs 1,412.95.

Major Sensex losers were: State Bank of India, down 4.96 per cent at Rs 313.15; Adani Ports, down 2.37 per cent at Rs 437.60; Dr Reddy’s Lab, down 2.26 per cent at Rs 2,504; Hero MotoCorp, down 1.95 per cent at Rs 3,569.60; and Tata Consultancy Services, down 1.79 per cent at Rs 3,117.85.

The equity markets will remained closed on January 26 (Friday) for Republic Day. (IANS)

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