Markets close with marginal losses; auto stocks top laggards

Sun Pharma, Hindustan Unilever, PowerGrid and ICICI Bank were also on the losing side, falling by up to 1.96 per cent.

Driven by stronger rupee and revival of buying interest of foreign investors amid abundant liquidity, the NSE Nifty closed at 10,153.10 - a new peak - up 67.70 points, or 0.67 per cent, after shuttling between 10,171.70 and 10,131.30.

After resuming higher, the Sensex slipped into the red, before settling down 1.86 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 32,400.51. On the BSE, 1,554 shares declined and 1,002 shares advanced.

Indian markets bounced back on Thursday snapping earlier losses. "Pharma stocks were in limelight", Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

Amid lingering worries on the valuation front, even the 30-share Sensex ended near the base line as the Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day policy review meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.19% to end at 22,412.59 points, its seventh straight record close.

"However, market gradually recovered from low as liquidity was driven to export oriented sectors like IT and pharma to take the benefit of the dollar and of regulatory approvals", Nair added. Yesterday, the rupee had logged its first gain in three sessions by rising 6 paise to 64.27 against the USA currency owing to fresh dollar unwinding by exporters.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that FIIs sold scrip worth Rs 1,185.44 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 946.23 crore.

However, healthy buying in automobile and oil and gas stocks pared some losses.

On Thursday, Asian indices were mostly showing a positive trend.

The BSE realty index was the biggest drag, down 2.28 per cent. Consumer durables, PSU and banking indices too weighed while healthcare and IT indices ended higher.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index provisionally fell 0.34%.

Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Dr. Reddy's Lab, up 3.33 per cent at Rs 2,313.60; Tata Steel, up 1.64 per cent at Rs 687.65; ITC, up 1.27 per cent at Rs 271.20; Wipro, up 1.07 per cent at Rs 292; and State Bank of India, up 1.03 per cent at Rs 270.55.

ICICI Bank fell as much as 2.4 percent to its lowest since August 11, making it the top drag on both indexes.