Sensex closes 190 points lower ahead of Budget, metal and pharma stocks drag

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Jan 31 (ANI): Equity benchmark indices ended lower on Friday ahead of the Union Budget even as the Economic Survey estimated that India's GDP will grow at 6 to 6.5 per cent in the financial year beginning April 1.

Globally, concerns grew over the spread of coronavirus from China, prompting investors to head for safer bets. The BSE S&P Sensex closed 190 points lower at 40,723 while the Nifty 50 declined by 74 points at 11,962.

Most sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red with Nifty metal down by 2.3 per cent, pharma by 1.2 per cent and auto by 1.1 per cent.

Among stocks, Tata Motors dropped by almost 5 per cent at Rs 176.90 per share after company's consolidated net profit for the December quarter stood at Rs 1,738 crore against a loss of Rs 26,993 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.

ONGC too witnessed a plunge of 4.5 per cent at Rs 110.40 per share while Power Grid Corporation, UPL and IndianOil Corporation slipped between 3 and 3.6 per cent each.

However, Kotak Mahindra Bank gained by 3.7 per cent at Rs 1,688.65 per share. State Bank of India and IndusInd Bank too moved up by 2.3 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, Asian share markets were mixed with some investors hoping that China could contain the coronavirus even as reports of more cases and mounting deaths poured in.

Japan's Nikkei bounced by nearly 1 per cent but the Shanghai Composite index dropped by 2.75 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell by 0.52 per cent and South Korea's Kospi by 1.35 per cent.