Mumbai, Aug 18: The key benchmark Sensex ended in the red at 14,645.66 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) with a loss of 78.52 points on sustained offloading by Foreign Institutional Investors and mutual fund operators.
The Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) was quoted below the 4400 mark to close lower at 4393.05 points, showing a net loss of 37.65 points. Trading resumed after the three-day holiday, including the Independence day, lower below the 14,700 mark at 14,681.14 with a small loss of 43.04 points. Select heavyweight stocks ended in negative terrain after trading with extreme volatility throughout the day. Sell off in oil&gas, metal, power, auto, cement, FMCG and realty stocks put pressure on frontline indices.
Most active shares on the bourses were Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, SBI, L &T and HDFC.
On the global front, Asian markets closed weak barring Nikkei.
Shanghai fell 5.34 per cent, Hang Seng 1.09 pc, Jakarta Composite 1.02 pc, Straits Times 0.73 pc, Kospi 0.28 pc and Taiwan Weighted 2.72 pc. However, Nikkei gained 1.12 pc. European markets were trading lower.
FTSE declined by 0.35 pc, CAC 0.54 pc and DAX by 0.80 pc, which affected the Indian bourses, brokers pointed out.
The Sensex touched an intraday high of 14,824.92 and low of 14,600.65, before closing at 14,645.66, down 78.52 points or 0.53 per cent. Nifty index of NSE closed also low at 4393.05, down 37.65 points or 0.85 pc from its last finish of 4430.70 points. It has hit a high and low of 4447.40 and 4379.85 points respectively during the session.
Market breadth was negative with 932 shares advancing, while 1678 shares declined. Nearly 552 shares remained unchanged.
The BSE key indices suffered a setback as METAL index declined sharply by 229.73 points and ended low at 12,364.17 points followed by OILS &GAS index by 200.44 to 9996.61 points, SML CAP index by 73.83 to 7036.61 points, AUTO index by 50.39 to 3882.66 points, CG index by 50.15 to 12,088.57 points, PSU index by 44.08 to 6942.30 points, CD index by 43.61 to 3828.18 points, MID CAP by 41.62 to 5781.80 points and POWER index by 40.28 to 2608.35 points.
Bank stocks were mixed after subdued start even as high inflation raised concerns of further monetary tightening by the Reserve Bank.
HDFC Bank rose 1.94 PC to Rs 1,198. It recovered from the session's low of Rs 1,163, while ICICI Bank fell 1.38 pc to Rs 665 and State Bank of India fell 0.03 PC to Rs 1,457.75 due to today's token Nationwide strike.
Amongst frontliners, Grasmim plunged by Rs 92 to close low at Rs 1963.50, followed by Reliance by Rs 50.35 to Rs 2224.95, ACC by Rs 15.35 to Rs 594.40, M&M by Rs 14.90 to Rs 568.10, Tata Power by Rs 14.90 to Rs 1020, REL INFRA by Rs 13.10 to Rs 972.35, Tata Steel by Rs 13.20 to Rs 603, BHEL by Rs 11.60 to Rs 1695.90, REL Com ltd by 11.50 to Rs 412.40, Bharti Airtel by Rs 11.10 to Rs 808.20.
However, a few top heavyweight stocks looked up modestly on some bull support by local operators. HDFC rose by Rs 71.40 to close firm at Rs 2359.75, L& T gained by Rs 34.40 to Rs 2694.95, HDFC Bank gained by Rs 25.20 to Rs 1200.40, Infosys Tech hardened by Rs 12.95 to Rs 1702.20 and ONGC also was up by Rs 7.20 to Rs 1074.20.