Sensex plunges 546 points on profit booking (Lead)

February 24th, 2011 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Sensex Mumbai, Feb 24 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Thursday slumped three percent, the biggest single-day fall in almost 16 months, as investors booked profits on concerns that the government might take some firm steps in the budget next week to control soaring inflation. The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,135.12 points, closed at 17,632.41 points, down three percent or 545.92 points from its previous close at 18,178.33 points.

This is the biggest single-day fall in the benchmark Sensex since Nov 3, 2009. The 30-scrip index hit a low of 17,559.70 points and a high of 18,135.12 points in the intraday trade.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange fell 3.21 percent to close at 5,262.70 points.

Selling pressure was seen across the board. In the broader markets, the BSE midcap index fell 2.69 percent and the BSE smallcap index shut shop 2.60 percent down.

All the sectoral indices closed deep in the red. The BSE Bankex and the consumer durables indices tumbled nearly four percent.

Tata Motors tumbled almost eight percent. Other major losers on the benchmark Sensex were Jaiprakash Associates, down 6.20 percent at Rs.78.70; ICICI Bank, down 5.43 percent at Rs.953.45; Jindal Steel, down 5.37 percent at Rs.633.70; L&T, down 4.94 percent at Rs.1,523.10 and Reliance Infra, down 4.21 percent at Rs.668.65.

Of the 30 scrips that constitute the benchmark Sensex, only one, Hero Honda, closed in the positive - 1.61 percent up at Rs.1,490.45.

Most global markets also slumpeded on soaring crude oil prices and the turmoil in the Middle East.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 1.34 percent down at 22,601. The Japanese Nikkei slumped 1.19 percent at 10,452.70 points.

However, China’s Shanghai Composite index moved up 0.56 percent to close at 2,878.60 points.

Around mid-day, the French CAC 40 was trading 0.15 percent down, Britain’s FTSE 100 was ruling 0.24 percent lower and the German DAX was ruling nearly one percent down.

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