Sensex sheds 379 pts, Nifty below 15,200; ONGC, other gas stocks rally to 52-week high

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The BSE Sensex tumbled 379 points on Thursday, tracking losses in index heavyweights HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries amid a weak trend in global markets while the broader NSE Nifty dropped 89.95 points.

The 30-share BSE index ended 379.14 points or 0.73 percent lower at 51,324.69 while the Nifty ended 0.59 percent lower to 15,118.95

Bajaj Finance was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, skidding over two percent, followed by Kotak Bank, Nestle India, HDFC, M&M, and ICICI Bank.

Shares of natural gas companies rallied to their 52-week highs during the intraday trade on Thursday, reports said, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the NDA government will bring natural gas under the ambit of GST.

ONGC was the top gainer in the S&P BSE Sensex, rallying over eight percent on Thursday. The stock had touched a 52-week high of Rs 113.45 during the day’s trade.

In the BSE Sensex, NTPC, Asian Paints, Tech Mahindra, PowerGrid and IndusInd Bank were among the other winners on Thursday.

Several gas stocks hit 52-week high

The S&P BSE Oil and Gas index touched a high of 15,740.00 and ended 632.03 points higher or 4.22 percent at 15,609.10. Besides ONGC, other gas stocks also rallied on Thursday.

The Gujarat State Petronet stock climbed to a 52-week high of Rs 276.60 on the BSE gaining 15.61 percent, The Indian Express reported.

Indraprastha Gas surged 9.18 percent to its 52-week high of Rs 594.85 per share. GAIL (India) too rose 9.97 percent to its 52-week high of Rs 147.75 per share, while Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) gained 8.71 percent to a 52-week high of Rs 111.10. The Petronet LNG stock hit an intraday high of Rs 249.80, gaining 3.87 percent.

According to analysts, profit-booking in private banks, auto and FMCG dragged the benchmarks. Indian markets could not sustain early gains and started trading in negative zone in the afternoon session as selling pressure was witnessed following weak global cues mainly from western markets as investors awaited key economic data, said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai ended on a positive note, while bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were in the red. Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading in the negative terrain in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.48 percent higher at $64.65 per barrel.

With inputs from PTI

Times2 Desk
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