Sensex opens in red, Nifty loses 20 points; IRCTC, Vodafone Idea gain

Indian benchmark indices opened in red on Thursday with the BSE Sensex losing 60.50 points or 0.15% at 41262.50 and the Nifty plunging 20.20 points or 0.17% at 12105.70. 

A total of 420 shares gained, 359 shares declined, and 45 remained unchanged.  Aurobindo Pharma, Bharti Infratel, Sterlite Tech, IRCTC, Max Financial, Vodafone Idea were among major gainers on the Indices, while Kotak Mahindra Bank, JSW Steel, Vedanta, Tata Steel and BPCL were the worst losers.

The Indian rupee went down in the early trade on Thursday after opening 23 paise lower at 71.79 per dollar versus Tuesday close of 71.56.

On Wednesday (February 19), equity benchmark indices closed in the green with the Sensex up 428.62 points or 1.05% at 41,323, while the broader Nifty ended up 137.80 points or 1.15% at 12,130.30. Major gainers on the Nifty included Bharti Infratel, Grasim Industries, Coal India, and HUL, while Tata Motors, JSW Steel, Sun Pharma, TCS and Bharti Airtel were top losers.

About 1499 shares advanced, 982 shares declined, and 173 shares remain unchanged. Among sectoral indices, pharma, metal, infra, FMCG and Energy rose 1 per cent each. 

Meanwhile, Asian shares edged cautiously higher on Wednesday as investors tried to shake off worries about the coronavirus epidemic after a slight decline in the number of new cases. MSCI`s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan gained marginally by 0.03 per cent while Chinese shares erased early declines to trade 0.15 per cent higher. Japan`s Nikkei stock index rose by 0.5 per cent.