Sensex sheds 159 points; oil rout spooks global markets…

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Indian equity shares edged lower, snapping a three-day winning streak, dragged down by energy stocks such as Oil and Natural Gas Corp tracking fall in crude prices, while profit-taking hit some of the recent outperformers.

However, losses were limited as interest rate-sensitive stocks gained after a better-than-expected December retail inflation data raised hopes that the central bank would cut rates in February.

The 30-share BSE index Sensex shed 159.54 points at 27,425.73 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty fell 23.6 points at 8,299.40. Barring FMCG and healthcare, all other BSE sectoral indices ended in the red.

Among them, realty index fell the most by 1.85 per cent, followed by consumer durables 1.2 per cent, oil & gas 1.06 per cent and power 0.9 per cent, while FMCG index was up 0.72 per cent and healthcare 0.14 per cent.

Major Sensex gainers were Maruti 1.25%, Wipro 1.18%, Coal India 0.77%, ITC 0.64% and Dr Reddy’s 0.64%, while the top five losers were ONGC 2.37%, ICICI Bank 1.57%, Hero MotoCorp 1.45%, Tata Power 1.37% and Tata Steel 1.37%.

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