Sensex closes 186 points down; blue-chips fall

Tags: Stock Market
The BSE Sensex fell on Thursday to snap four consecutive sessions of gains as blue-chips including ICICI Bank were hit by profit-taking after regional markets were hit by a survey painting a grim picture of China's manufacturing sector.

The declines came even after foreign investors have been net buyers of $296.99 million worth of Indian shares in the last six sessions and have bought a net 4.68 billion rupees on Wednesday, according to provisional exchange data.

Global cues are expected to dominate in the short-term given the absence of significant domestic events, analysts said. Asian shares were hit on Thursday when the preliminary HSBC/Markit survey of manufacturing activity for February fell to a seven-month low.

"Markets are struggling right now and will continue to struggle in the medium term. Global factors along with local political factor should be keenly looked at. We expect Nifty to trade between 6,000 and 6,150 for the time being," said Deven Choksey, managing director, KR Choksey Securities.

"I think some of the battered down stocks, especially in auto, banks and capital goods, will continued to get traction."

The benchmark BSE Sensex closed 0.9 percent lower at 20,536.64 points, while the broader Nifty closed 1 percent lower at 6,091.45 points.

Most blue-chips faltered. State Bank of India lost 1.82 percent, ICICI Bank closed 2.24 percent lower, while Tata Steel closed down 1.9 percent.

Among other index heavyweights, ITC fell 1.52 percent while HDFC fell 1.76 percent.

However, shares in Bajaj Auto gained 1.18 percent after the company said on Wednesday that it would deepen partnerships with Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd and Austria's KTM AG as it looks to increase exports of its bikes to fuel growth.

Shares in DCM Shriram Consolidated surged 13.12 percent to more than a 52-week high after the chemical manufacturer said on Wednesday its board will meet on Saturday to consider a share buy-back, a review of its dividends policy, and a bonus issue.

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