Mumbai, Nov 19 : A benchmark index for Indian equities markets Monday closed flat following heavy selling pressure in capital goods, consumer durables, metals and health care stocks.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,349.53 points, closed at 18,339.00 points, up 29.63 points or 0.16 percent from its previous close at 18,309.37 points.

The benchmark index touched a high of 18,386.78 points and low of 18,256.07 points intra-day. The BSE midcap index was down 59.34 points and so was the smallcap index, down by 60.21 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange fell 2.65 points or 0.05 percent to 5,571.40 points.

There was heavy selling in capital goods, consumer durables, metals and health care stocks.

The BSE capital goods index was down 88.40 points, while the consumer durables index was down by 85.31 points, followed by metals index, down 66.35 points, and health care index, down 57.59 points.

However, BSE auto index was up 107.81 points and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) was higher 49.11.

"After so many weak sessions, bulls fought back. Auto and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) were firm," said Kishor P. Ostwal, chairman and managing director, CNI Research.

The major Sensex losers were Tata Power, down 2.52 percent at Rs.96.65; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), down 1.90 percent at Rs.1,261.50; Tata Steel, down 1.61 percent at Rs.364.10; HDFC, down 1.23 percent at Rs.765.15; and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 1.22 percent at Rs.1,228.80.

Only 13 of the 30 Sensex scrips closed in the positive.

Among the gainers, were Maruti Suzuki, up 3.87 percent at Rs.1,494.60, Bharti Airtel, up 2.89 percent at Rs.309.80; ITC, up 2.70 percent at Rs.281.95; Bajaj Auto, up 2.23 percent at Rs.1,854.10; and Mahindra and Mahindra, up 1.60 percent at Rs.908.80 were among the major Sensex gainers.

Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei rose 1.43 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.49 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index was higher by 0.11 percent.

Most European markets were in the green. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 1.02 percent. The German DAX was trading higher by 1.33 percent while the French CAC 40 index was up 1.39 percent.


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