Equity markets slump, reversing previous day’s gains (Roundup)

January 15th, 2009 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

SensexMumbai, Jan 15 (IANS) Indian equities markets closed lower Thursday, reversing the gains of Wednesday’s trade. A key index shut shop about 3.45 percent below its previous close.The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was down 3.45 percent or 323.75 points over its previous close and ended trade at 9,046.74.

Grasim Industries was the only gainer on the Sensex while the remaining 29 stocks constituting the key index were in the negative. Top losers on the Sensex were Jaiprakash Associates (down 8.03 percent to close at Rs.64.70), Tata Steel (down 7.33 percent at Rs.197.80) and ICICI Bank (down 7.31 percent at Rs.408.85).

“A lot of good companies are currently at valuations that are too low and investors might not be ready to sell them off at such levels. This may have stemmed the loss,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, head of the capital markets arm and director of a major share brokerage firm, the New Delhi-based SMC Group.

The Sensex opened at 9,098.08 points Thursday, lower than Wednesday’s close of 9,370.49.

The broader S&P CNX Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was at 2,736.7 points, 3.48 percent lower than its previous close.

Other market indices like the BSE midcap index shed 1.72 percent while the smallcap index was down 2.16 percent.

Market sentiments remained negative resulting in 1,649 stocks falling, as against 698 scrips advancing, while 100 stocks remained unchanged.

All the 13 sectoral indices on the BSE ended in the negative territory with the BSE banking index losing the most, closing 5.69 percent lower over Wednesday’s close.

North American telephone equipment manufacturer Nortel Networks pulled IT stocks down following news of its bankruptcy.

The Satyam scrip fell as the government announced Thursday that it would not be bailing out the scam-tainted IT firm and a company director said the firm did not need financial assistance. The stock fell over 32 percent and closed at Rs.20.30.

In other Asian markets, the Nikkei, a key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, fell 4.92 percent over its last close on news that a key index of capital spending in Japan had fallen over 16 percent bearing evidence that the country had been hit hard by the economic recession.

The Hang Seng, a key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, also fell 3.37 percent over its last close.

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