Bears grip markets, key index down 370 points (Lead)

November 20th, 2008 - 1:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 20 (IANS) Indian equities markets seemed headed for another day of bloodbath Thursday with a key index more than 370 points down just 45 minutes into trading on dismal global cues.Some 45 minutes into trading, the 30-share benchmark sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was at 8,403.27, down 370.51 points or 4.22 percent from its previous close at 8,773.78 points.

The Sensex opened very weak at 8,400.88, down 372.9 points or 4.25 percent from its previous close Wednesday and hit a low of 8,359.06 before inching up.

The broader-based 50 share S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also showed a similar trend and about 45 minutes after opening was at 2,538.95, down 96.05 points or 3.65 percent from its previous close Wednesday at 2,635.00 points.

The BSE midcap index was ruling at 2,892.66, down 105.73 points or 3.53 percent from its previous close at 2,998.39 points.

The BSE smallcap index was ruling at 3,374.35, down 118.77 points or 3.40 percent from its previous close at 3,493.12 points.

Overnight, the key index of the New York Stock Exchange fell 6.59 percent to a five and a half year low and the Nasdaq index too fell 6.53 percent.

Other Asian markets too were in the red Thursday morning with the Nikkei, the key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange down 5.88 percent and Hang Seng, the key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange also down 5.50 percent.

With fears of a global recession now confirmed and economic news coming out of the US, the world’s largest economy, continuing to be gloomy, sentiment is extremely negative, analysts said.

All 13 sectoral indices were in the negative zone with realty, bank, oil and gas and metal stocks being the biggest losers.

All 30 stocks that make up the Sensex were showing losses with HDFC Bank, down 7.30 percent being the leading loser, followed by Housing Development Finance Company, down 7.22 percent, Reliance Infrastructure, down 7.22 percent and Tata Power, down 6.82 percent.

The continuous and indiscriminate selling by foreign institutional investors has also pulled down the rupee to historic lows against the US dollar. The rupee opened Thursday hitting a historic low of below Rs.50 to a dollar.

All attempts by the market to bounce back is being thwarted by more selling at the higher levels so that the chances of a recovery of any sort is bleak, analysts said.

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