Indian markets plummet as global cues weaken (Lead)

March 2nd, 2009 - 2:09 pm ICT by IANS  

SensexMumbai, March 2 (IANS) Indian equities markets were south-bound around noon Monday as global markets weakened further and investor confidence dampened, with a key index 2.11 percent below its last closing figure.
The 30-scrip Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensitive Index (Sensex), which opened at 8,762.88 points, was at 8,704.18 points, 2.11 percent or 187.43 points lower than its previous close.

Similarly, the S&P CNX Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was at 2,700.05 points, 2.3 percent down from its last close of 2,763.65.

The BSE midcap index was 0.6 percent lower, while the BSE smallcap index was down 0.7 percent.

Of the 13 sectoral indices on BSE, the index for auto companies gained the most as major automobile manufacturers posted positive sales figures for February.

Of the four gainers on the Sensex, three were auto companies: Mahindra and Mahindra (up 3.87 percent at Rs.321.90), Tata Motors (up 2.51 percent at Rs.153.20) and Maruti Suzuki (up 1.92 percent at Rs.690.60). Pharma major Ranbaxy, too, gained (up 1.05 percent at Rs.163.50).

Among the losers were ICICI Bank (down 4.21 percent to Rs.314.30), HDFC Bank (down 3.85 percent at Rs.850.80), Tata Steel (down 3.8 percent at Rs.165.80) and ONGC (3.6 percent at Rs.666.30).

In other Asian markets, a key Japanese index, the Nikkei of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed at 7,280.15, shedding 3.93 percent from its previous close.

The Hang Seng, a key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, was 3.49 percent below its last close.

US stocks closed Friday on a dismal note as the government took a bigger stake in Citigroup Inc and figures showed that the economy shrank at a far greater pace than anticipated.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 119.15 points, or 1.66 percent, to 7,062.93 - its lowest close since May 1, 1997.

The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 Index shed 17.74 points, or 2.36 percent, to close at 735.09 - its lowest since Dec 18, 1996.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 13.63 points, or 0.98 percent, to 1,377.84.

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