Markets end in red as global cues weaken (Roundup)

Mumbai, April 21 (Inditop) Indian equities markets closed in the red Tuesday owing to a slump in global bourses, even as the central bank slashed key policy rates by 25 basis points. A key index fell 81 points below its last closing figure.

The 30-scrip Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensitive index (Sensex), which opened at 10,765.39 points lower than its Monday close, fell 81.39 points or 0.74 percent to close at 10,898.11 points.

The Sensex touched an intra-day high of 11,068.82 points and a low of 10,764.08 points.

Similarly, the S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) lost 0.35 percent from its previous close to end trade at 3,365.3 points.

Among broader market indices the BSE midcap index shed 0.16 percent, while the BSE smallcap index was up 0.42 percent.

The Reserve Bank of India cut key rates Tuesday by 25 basis points in a move to infuse more liquidity into the system and stimulate lending growth.

The central bank cut the repo rate by 25 basis points from the current 5 percent to 4.75 percent, while the reverse repo rate has been brought down to 3.25 percent from 3.5 percent earlier.

Of the 13 sectoral indices on the exchange, those for realty, FMCG and healthcare stocks gained the most, while the banking scrips saw profit booking.

Among gainers on the Sensex were Bharti Airtel, up 4.35 percent at Rs.718.75; Hindalco, up 3.83 percent at Rs.55.60; Sun Pharma, up 3.15 percent at Rs.1,219.90; and DLF, up 2.84 percent at Rs.237.35.

Losers included Tata Steel, down 7.06 percent at Rs.244.30; ICICI Bank, down 6.51 percent at Rs.398.30; Maruti Suzuki, down 5.38 percent at Rs.789.35; and Tata Motors, down 5.18 percent at Rs.233.35.

The overall market sentiment was mixed, with 1,226 stocks advancing, 1,288 declining and 83 remaining unchanged.

In other Asian markets, a key Japanese index – the Nikkei of the Tokyo Stock Exchange – closed marginally in the red Tuesday at 8,711.33 points, about 213.42 points lower than its last closing figure.

The Hang Seng, a key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, closed lower and was ruling in the negative terrain at 15,285.89 points, 465.02 points below its previous close.

European markets were trading in the negative terrain, with the FTSE in Britain ruling 1.22 percent lower than its previous close, and its French peer CAC 40 ruling 0.75 percent down.