Indian shares tank over Japan disaster, rate hike worries (Lead)March 15th, 2011 - 1:54 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, March 15 (IANS) Indian equities sank Tuesday on worries over the fallout of the devastating earthquake in Japan that has led to three explosions at nuclear reactors and a possible rate hike by the Indian central bank to curb inflationary pressures.
The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened at 18,113.79 points against the previous day’s close at 18,439.48 points and sank further to 17,920.55 points, below the psychologically important 18,000-point mark.
Amid volatile trading, the index then regained some of its lost ground and was ruling at at 18,205.27 points some three hours into trading, with a loss of 234.21 points, or 1.27 percent, over the previous close, data with the exchange showed.
But for oil and gas, all the other 12 sector-specific indices of the exchange were trading in the red. Similarly, just one scrip in the basket of Sensex shares managed to stage an advance.
At the National Stock Exchange (NSE) the situation was no different. The S&P; CNX Nifty was ruling at 5465.45 points, with a loss of 66.05 points, or 1.19 percent.
With the easing of crude oil prices, Monday had seen the Indian stock markets discount the events in Japan and the Sensex, which opened in the red at 18,167.10 points, ended the day at 18,439.48 points, up 1.46 percent or 265.39 points over the previous close.
Radiation levels have spiked after another blast at a reactor in a quake-damaged nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan. Friday’s magnitude-9 earthquake have led to cooling systems of three reactors at Fukushima nuclear plant to fail.
The market sentiments were also dampened by worries over a possible rate hike by India’s central bank, following a marginal increase in the domestic annual inflation rate, which rose to 8.31 percent in February from 8.23 percent for the month before.
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