Sensex closes 197 points lower, energy stocks rise

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Mumbai, May 26 : A benchmark index for Indian equities markets closed 197 points up, helped by a late buying spurt and a rally in energy stocks. Broader markets, however, ended on a dull note.

In the energy space, oil marketing companies rose in particular on reports that the government may increase diesel prices this week.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 17,917.11 points, closed at 18,044.64 points, up 1.11 percent or 197.40 points from its previous close at 17,847.24 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 18,072.61 points and low of 17,862.88 points in the intraday.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange settled 1.19 percent or 63.40 points higher at 5,412.35 points.

Broader markets, however, closed dull, with the BSE midcap index nudging up 0.14 percent higher and the BSE smallcap index rising 0.46 percent.

Most sectoral indices on the BSE closed in the positive. Consumer durables scrips, however, were among major losers.

According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth $92.22 million Thursday.

Gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex included: ONGC, up 4.44 percent at Rs.274.30; Hero Honda, up 3.97 percent at Rs.1,873; Sterlite Industries, up 3.45 percent at Rs.167.75; and DLF, up 2.95 percent at Rs.216.30.

Among the major losers were: ITC, down 1.08 percent at Rs.186.95; Infosys, down 0.56 percent at Rs.2,779.30; HDFC, down 0.26 percent at Rs.642.90; and Reliance Communications, down 0.25 percent at Rs.80.45.

Tracking overnight gains at Wall Street and European markets, Asian markets mostly ended up in the green, with the exception of China.

The Nikkei of the Japanese stock exchange closed 1.48 percent up at 9,562.05 points, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended 0.61 percent up at 22,885.43 points.

The Shanghai Composite index of the Chinese markets shed 0.19 percent to close at 2,736.53 points.

European markets were trading on a cautious note ahead of the release of US gross domestic product growth data.

Britain's FTSE was up 0.44 percent at 5,896.11 points.

Around midday, the French CAC 40 rose 0.15 percent at 3,934.95 points, while the German DAX shed 0.28 percent to rule at 7,151.21 points.

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