Sensex slips 75 points, Infosys, ICICI bank drag (Roundup)

Mumbai, Jan 8 ( A benchmark index of the Indian equities markets closed 75 points down with bluechip stocks such as Infosys, HDFC and ICICI bank acting as drag.

The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 17,603.87 points and ended at 17,540.29 points, closed 75.43 points or 0.43 percent down from its previous close at 17,615.72 points.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty closed at 5,244.75 points, against the previous close at 5,263.1 points, a loss of 0.35 percent.

Broader market indices performed only a tad better, with the BSE midcap index ending flat and the BSE small cap index ruling 0.44 percent higher.

The market breadth was positive, with as many as 1,725 stocks advancing, compared to 1,172 on the decline, while 68 remained unchanged.

Among major gainers on the Sensex were DLF, up 4.26 percent at Rs.390.20; Grasim, up 3.02 percent at Rs.2,754.50; Sunpharma, up 2.11 percent at Rs.1,574.55; and Jaiprakash Associates, up 1.8 percent at Rs.161.55.

Major losers included Infosy, down 2.41 percent at Rs.2,464.45; TCS, down 1.98 percent at Rs.700.50; HDFC, down 1.7 percent at Rs.2,600.35; and Reliance Communications, down 1.5 percent at Rs.180.70.

Other Asian markets ended in the green, with a key Japanese index, the Nikkei, ending 1.09 percent higher at 10,798.32 points, while the Korean Kospi, was up 0.7 percent at 1,695.26 points.

In China, the Shanghai composite index managed to end up with slender gains, closing 0.1 percent higher at 3,196 points, while the Hang Seng, a benchmark index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, closed a meagre 0.12 percent up at 22,296.75 points.

Key European markets were trading flat with the FTSE 100 index, benchmark index of the London Stock Exchange, ruling 0.04 percent up at 5,529.13 points.

The French index, CAC 40, was ruling 0.43 percent higher at 4,042.21 points, while its German peer, the DAX, was 0.32 percent up at 6,038.64 points.