Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex recouped most of today's losses after buying in IT and metal sector stocks helped it to end just 21 points down amid weak global cues on continuing uncertainty about the US debt deadline.
The S&P BSE Sensex opened lower and dropped to 19,647.88 in the morning, a decline of 268 points, on sluggish Asian stocks. It then made a steady recovery to close at 19,895.10, down 20.85 points, or 0.10 per cent, breaking a three-session rally.
Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank dragged the index lower, while some late buying in TCS pushed it higher. Seven of the 13 sectoral indices on the BSE declined, led by bank and PSU shares.
The major index losers included Coal India and Bharti Airtel, while Tata Steel and Hindalco Industries gained. The broader 50-share CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange closed 1.15 points lower at 5,906.15.
The SX40 index on the MCX Stock Exchange closed at 11,856.45, up 4.07 points. Investors were worried about the US shutdown as lawmakers in Washington remain deadlocked over extending the nation's debt limit to avoid default before an October 17 deadline.
“Any prolonged shutdown is likely to have a negative impact on the markets. With no progress being made over several days, fears are beginning to arise that the US might stay deadlocked for quite some time,” said Raghu Kumar, co-founder of RKSV.
Purchases by foreign institutional investors also aided the late recovery after they bought a net Rs 541.36 crore of shares on Friday, according to provisional data with the stock exchanges.
In Asian markets, key indices in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea closed lower. US index futures indicated a weak opening as uncertainty remained over how long the government will remain shut down.