Equity benchmark Sensex sheds 379 points

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Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled 379 points on Thursday, tracking losses in index heavyweights HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries amid a weak trend in global markets.

The 30-share BSE index ended 379.14 points or 0.73 per cent lower at 51,324.69. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty dropped 89.95 points or 0.59 per cent to 15,118.95. Bajaj Finance was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, skidding over 2 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, Nestle India, HDFC, M&M and ICICI Bank.

ONGC was the top gainer, rallying around 8 per cent. NTPC, Asian Paints, Tech Mahindra, PowerGrid and IndusInd Bank were among the other winners. According to analysts, profit-booking in private banks, auto and FMCG dragged the benchmarks.

Indian markets could not sustain early gains and started trading in negative zone in the afternoon session as selling pressure was witnessed following weak global cues mainly from western markets as investors awaited key economic data, said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai ended on a positive note, while bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were in the red. Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading in the negative terrain in mid-session deals. Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.48 per cent higher at $64.65 per barrel.