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Markets recover losses, Sensex closes flat

Indian equities markets ended trade marginally down today with a key index closing flat after recovering from early losses.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2009 08:14 PM IST

Indian equities markets ended trade marginally down on Tuesday with a key index closing flat after recovering from early losses.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange which opened at 8,707.35 points, closed at 8,822.06 points, down 21.15 points or 0.24 per cent.

The S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended at 2,733.9 points, 0.09 per cent down from its last close at 2,736.45 points.

Both the Sensex and the Nifty rose soon after the government's excise duty cut announcement, but were quick to shrug off gains and ended the day just below their respective previous closes.

The BSE midcap index was 1.76 per cent lower, while the BSE smallcap index was down 1.41 per cent.

Among the 13 sectoral indices on the BSE, the index for metals and banking scrips lost the most.

Top gainers on the Sensex were Mahindra and Mahindra (up 4.92 per cent at Rs.295.10), Ranbaxy Laboratories (up 3.94 percent at Rs.214.85) and Grasim Industries (up 3.01 percent at Rs.1,384.65).

Among the losers on the Sensex were HDFC (down 4.78 per cent at Rs.1,289), Tata Steel (down 4.46 per cent at Rs.160.55), Sun Pharma (down 1.94 per cent at Rs.1,002.80) and Sterlite (down 1.85 per cent at Rs.243.80).

The overall market sentiment was negative with 790 stocks advancing, 1,613 scrips declining and 98 remaining unchanged.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers, pulling out about $42.70 million from markets.

Asian markets also took a hit, with a key Japanese index, the Nikkei of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, sliding 107.6 points or 1.5 per cent to close at 7,268.56 points. It recovered from a 3-percent drop that saw the index touch lows not seen since October 1982.

The Hang Seng, a key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, was ruling almost 3 percent below its last close.

In European markets, the FTSE index in Britain was ruling 0.46 per cent lower than its previous close at 3,833.04 points.

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