Mumbai: Sensex ends a shade lower although the severely beaten down auto stocks edged higher on Thursday over expectations of a rate cut in the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on vehicles and on the back of steps announced by the government to combat a slowdown in the sector, the benchmark Sensex closed the day at a lower level.
The Sensex closed on Thursday 80.32 points lower at 36,644.42, while the broader Nifty finished 3.25 points higher at 10,847.90. The Sensex had opened the day higher at 36,821.71 than its Wednesday close of 36,724.74.
Auto stocks closed over 2 percent higher after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the government is expected to award road projects worth Rs 5 lakh crore in the coming months, aimed at generating demand for automobile construction equipment.
Among the auto index, Tata Motors made the most gains, surging over 8 percent to Rs 118.35 per share.
According to Deepak Jasani of HDFC Securities, public sector company stocks witnessed positive moves amidst large volumes on the expectation of an announcement of reform measures on Friday, as has been announced by the Finance Minister over the last two weeks.
ONGC was among the top performers on Thursday, after the company informed the exchanges that its fuel supplies would continue uninterrupted despite the massive fire at its Uran Oil and Gas Processing Plant that claimed four lives. It advanced by 9 percent.
The top losers comprised mostly of private banks like HDFC, ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, after the Reserve Bank of India, earlier this week, made it mandatory for banks to link their new floating rates for home, auto and MSME loans to an external benchmark from October 1. (IANS)