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Sensex makes marginal gains; bank, auto stocks rally

Mumbai, July 22 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Monday closed flat amidst a mixed bag of results and expiry of July derivatives Thursday.

Healthy buying was seen in automobile, bank, information technology (IT), technology, and media and entertainment (TECk) sectors, while capital goods, oil and gas, power, consumer durable and healthcare scrips came under heavy selling pressure.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,096.71 points, closed at 20,159.12 points, up 9.27 points or 0.05 percent from the previous day's close at 20,149.85 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 20,264.90 points and a low of 20,065.69 points intra-day.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended 0.04 percent or 2.60 points up at 6,031.80 points.

The S&P BSE bank index gained 122.72 points followed by automobile index grew by 113.71 points, IT index was up 51.82 points and TECk index moved up by 29.46 points.

However, capital goods tanked 519.19 points, oil and gas index dropped by 151 points, power index was down 36.63 points, consumer durables index slipped by 25.60 points and healthcare index shed 21.85 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: HDFC, up 3.17 percent at Rs.829; Sun Pharma, up 2.75 percent at Rs.1,110; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 2.63 percent at Rs.901.55; Bharti Airtel, up 1.65 percent at Rs.335.50; and ICICI Bank, up 1.64 percent at Rs.974.75.

The scrip of engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) went down by 7.46 percent at Rs.901.95, after the company reported a 12.5 percent year-on-year fall in net profit at Rs.756 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, on account of job mix, lower margin accruals and lower other income.

The company had reported a profit of Rs.864 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

Other major losers were: BHEL, down 7.05 percent at Rs.161.50; Tata Steel, down 2.95 percent at Rs.233.95; ONGC, down 2.85 percent at Rs.307.30; and DrReddys Lab, down 1.71 percent at Rs.2,309.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed Monday's trade up 0.47 percent; Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up by 0.25 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index was higher by 0.61 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.19 percent down; Germany's DAX Index dropped 0.03 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index was higher by 0.15 percent.

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