"Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 0.24 percent down, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was marginally up by 0.01 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.84 percent."
Mumbai, May 21 - A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Wednesday closed in the negative territory for the first time after four straight sessions of gains.
The benchmark index closed 78.86 points, 0.32 percent down - as capital goods, banks and healthcare stocks declined.
Heavy selling pressure was observed in capital goods, banks, healthcare, consumer durables, and oil and gas stocks.
However, automobile, information technology (IT), fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), realty and technology, entertainment and media (TECK) sectors witnessed healthy buying.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 24,404.48 points, closed the trade at 24,298.02, down 78.86 points or 0.32 percent from the previous day's close at 24,376.88 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 24,419.54 points and a low of 24,156.47 points in trade.
The S&P BSE capital goods index was down 238.51 points, bank index plunged by 184.51 points, healthcare index fell by 35.42 points, consumer durables index was lower by 32.88 points, and oil and gas index moved down by 29.52 points.
However, the automobile index gained 71.31 points. IT index rose 66.03 points, FMCG index moved up 42.96 points, realty index was higher by 34.13 points and TECK index rose 21.19 points.
The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) too closed in the red. It was down 22.60 points or 0.31 percent at 7,252.90 points.
The prominent Sensex gainers included Bajaj Auto, up 4.69 percent at Rs.1,959.20; Hindalco Inds, up 2.54 percent at Rs.159.60; NTPC, up 2.21 percent at Rs.145.85; Sesa Sterlite, up 1.51 percent at Rs.249.35; and Coal India, up 1.49 percent at Rs.372.15.
Of the 30 Sensex scrips, 21 closed in the red. Among the major Sensex losers were State Bank of India (SBI), down 2.61 percent at Rs.2,460.10; BHEL, down 2.39 percent at Rs.271.25; Axis Bank, down 2.18 percent at Rs.1,815.25; Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 2.11 percent at Rs.1,476.40; and Bharti Airtel India, down 2.03 percent at Rs.340.70.
Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 0.24 percent down, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was marginally up by 0.01 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.84 percent.
In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.09 percent down and the French CAC 40 Index was higher by 0.29 percent. Germany's DAX Index had lost 0.05 percent at the closing bell here.