Sensex closes lower, aviation stocks soar
Sensex on Tuesday closed 84 points lower as traders booked profits after five consecutive weeks of rallying.
Aviation stocks, however, shot up after the government approved carriers' demand of importing jet fuel directly - a move which will help airlines bring down operating costs.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 17,813.74 points, closed at 17,622.45 points, 84.86 points or 0.48% down from its previous close at 17,707.31 points.
The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also closed in the red at 5,335.15 points, down 26.5 points or 0.49% from its previous close.
Broader markets were dull, with the BSE 500 index ending 0.61% lower from its previous close. The BSE midcap index was down 0.81% while the BSE smallcap index shed 0.44%.
Overseas funds, however, were robust buyers even on Tuesday. According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors bought stocks worth $226.85 million.
FIIs have pumped in over $3.4 billion in 2012, having bought equities worth $2.03 billion in January and $1.4 billion in just five trading days of February.
Prominent gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex included RIL, up 1.44% at Rs.844.75; ITC, up 1.38% at Rs.205.30; ONGC, up 1.25% at Rs.286.65; and ICICI Bank, up 0.98% at Rs 936.90.
Among the losers on the benchmark were BHEL, down 4.22% at Rs.259.90; Tata Steel, down 3.3% at Rs.452.35; M&M, down 2.88% at Rs.689.45; and GAIL, down 2.7% at Rs 378.80.
The scrip of Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines hit an intra-day high of Rs 30.90, up 20% from Monday's close of Rs 25.75 at the BSE. It closed the day with a 13.2% gain at Rs 29.15.
The Jet Airways stock too moved up 14.48% to close at Rs 341.20. It had risen 18.06% in intra-day trade.
The market breadth was mixed with 1,247 stocks advancing, 1,630 on the decline and 119 unchanged.
Asian markets ended on a dull note, with investors wary of a debt default by Greece because its policymakers are seen to be divided over the strict conditions attached to a financial bailout.
The Japanese Nikkei fell 0.13% to end at 8,917.52 points, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed flat at 20,699.19 points.
The Chinese Shanghai Composite index was 1.68% down at 2,291.9 points.
European markets were ruling lower as traders awaited news on the Greece debt restructuring.
Britain's FTSE 100 was ruling 0.23% down at 5,878.89 points. The German DAX was similarly trading 0.5% lower at 6,730.8 points.
The French CAC 40 was trading 0.33% lower at 3,394.14 points.