Key equities index ends 700 points in red (Roundup)

November 11th, 2008 - 6:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 11 (IANS) As analysts had feared, the bull run lost steam just after two successive sessions and Indian equities markets once again came under a severe bear grip Tuesday with a key share index shedding nearly 700 points at close to finish below the psychologically important 10,000 mark.This was the largest single day loss in recent weeks, analysts said.

“The very low turnovers over Monday and Friday when the markets ended higher indicated that there was no energy or enthusiasm in the upward rally and markets would again head south sooner than later,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, head of the capital markets arm of India’s fourth largest share brokerage firm, the Delhi-based SMC Group.

The 30-share benchmark sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) finished at 9,839.69, down 696.47 points or 6.61 percent from its previous close Monday at 10,536.16 points.

The Sensex opened weak at 10,405.39, down 130.77 points or 1.24 percent from its previous close and continued to fall to hit an intra-day low of 9,799.45 before inching back a bit to its final closing value.

The broader-based 50 share SP CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also showed a similar trend and closed at 2938.65, down 209.6 points or 6.66 percent from its previous close Monday at 3148.25 points.

The BSE midcap index finished at 3,356.70, down 118.39 points or 3.41 percent from its previous close at 3,475.09 points.

The BSE smallcap index closed at 3,888.01, down 100.02 points or 2.51 percent from its previous close at 3,988.03 points.

All the 13 sectoral indices ended in the red with realty, metal, power and capital goods stocks taking the most beating.

Among the 30 stocks that make up the Sensex only one scrip - ITC - ended showing a marginal gain of 0.06 percent.

The biggest losers were Jaiprakash Associates, down 12.21 percent followed by Sterlite Industries, down 11.03 percent, Tata Steel, down 10.98 percent and Hindalco Industries, shedding 10.18 percent.

As many as 1,766 stocks or 67.87 percent declined, 759 stocks or 29.17 percent advanced and 77 stocks or 2.96 percent remained unchanged.

US markets had closed with losses overnight with the key index of the New York Stock Exchange finishing 1.19 percent down and the Nasdaq closing 1.86 percent down.

Tuesday morning the Nikkei, key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange down 0.60 percent. The Hang Seng, key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, however, was showing a gain of 0.34 percent.

So, sentiment was negative when markets opened Tuesday. Short selling and bear pressure continued throughout the day, analysts said.

“New casualties of the global financial tsunami are being exposed on a daily basis and the crisis is clearly far from over so this kind of crash is only to be expected,” said Thunuguntla.

“In the US two more commercial banks went bankrupt Friday bringing the total tally of bankrupt US commercial banks to 19 apart from the investment banks that declared bankruptcy,” Thunguntla said.

Similarly, D. Carnegie Co. AB, the 205-year-old Swedish investment bank, had its license revoked Monday by the country’s regulator and will be put under supervision of the national debt office.

Carnegie took “exceptional risks” awarding loans, the watchdog said while revoking its license. “So no one seems to be safe,” Thunuguntla said adding even the iconic General Motors (GM) is as good as bankrupt.

The Deutsche Bank has downgraded GM and in a capital markets report has said that the bank has set a zero dollar target for the company’s share price.

“That effectively means Deutsche Bank thinks that even if GM is not filing for bankruptcy, it is as good as bankrupt and its shares are worthless,” Thunuguntla said. Another iconic US company Ford Motor is also facing a similar situation.

There is no end to the bad news, he said pointing out that the US mortgage firm Fannie Mae has reported a quarterly loss of $29 billion. “That is a huge loss for a single quarter by any standards,” he said.

Circuit City, the second-biggest electronics retailer in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 protection Monday and said that it would dismiss a fifth of its workforce.

Circuit City, which has 776 outlets and $5 billion in assets, admitted that it had been taken off-guard by the speed of the consumer slowdown.

It said that big electronics companies had effectively pulled the plug on it by withdrawing credit lines and insisting that they be paid up front.

News about the domestic economy is also not heartening, analysts said. Exports had been affected and will continue to fall, they said.

There were clear signs of a severe slowdown even in India, demand is shrinking, companies are cutting jobs and there are really no feel good factors anywhere, analysts said.

“It is not an easy time for anybody,” they said.

The only good news is the Chinese revival package of $586 billion, a figure that is nearly 15 percent of that country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“In 1990, during the Asian crisis, China had announced a similar revival package but then its size was just 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP,” Thunuguntla said, adding: “It shows how seriously the Chinese are taking the current situation.”

“The other good thing about the package is that it is aimed at increasing economic activity by creating jobs, creating demand and directly boosting the real economy unlike in the US where money is being pumped into near bankrupt banks without really stimulating the economy,” he said.

“President-elect Barack Obama may also announce something similar but he can do so only after Jan 20 - till then the US economy has to fend for itself and that is not very reassuring,” he said.

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