Key Indian equities index plummets to three-year low (Roundup)

March 3rd, 2009 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS  

SensexMumbai, March 3 (IANS) Indian equities plummeted to a three year-low Tuesday as investors expressed deep concern over the global slowdown, with the mood further dampened by some gloomy statistics back home on some key economic parameters.
The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) saw some heavy volatility for nearly three hours after which it took a sharp fall, to end the day with a loss of 2.09 percent or 179.79 points over Monday’s close.

At 8,427.29 points, the Sensex ended with the lowest closing since Nov 10, 2005. In intra-day terms, the lowest point in the past 52 weeks was touched Oct 27, when the index dropped to 7,697.39 points.

As many as 27 out of the 30 shares that make up the bellwether index ended in the red, with only three managing to end with gains - Grasim Industries, up 2.88 percent at Rs.1,362.05; ACC, up 1.26 percent at Rs.530.10; and Jaiprakash Associates, up 0.88 percent at Rs.63.20.

All the 13 sectoral indices on the exchange turned negative with the index for consumer durables stocks losing out the most. Similarly, the midcap index closed 1.62 percent lower, while the smallcap index was down 1.3 percent.

The overall market sentiment was clearly negative, with 1,595 stocks declining, 810 advancing and 107 remaining unchanged.

The broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fared no better, ending at 2,622.4 points, down 1.95 percent from its previous close at 2,674.6 points.

Foreign funds were net sellers to the tune of $118.50 million and appeared to be following the trends in other markets, where the Hang Seng of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange shed 2.3 percent and FTSE of Britain was ruling 1.76 percent lower.

“The mood in the investor community is extremely depressed. We did not witness much of buying mood in any major scrip today,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, chief executive of New Delhi-based brokerage firm SMC Group.

“There was also a short build-up towards late afternoon and investors were hurrying to square off their positions,” he said, adding that this was the reason for the sharp drop in the Sensex towards the closing bell.

Analysts also said that with the Election Commission announcing the dates for the national elections and the code of conduct for the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government firmly in place, the prospects of another stimulus package have evaporated.

They had hoped for government intervention after the fourth straight month of decline in exports, even as the country’s growth of gross domestic product fell to 5.3 percent for the third quarter from 7.9 percent and 7.6 percent for the first and the second quarters.

Among the losers within the 30-share Sensex were Tata Power, down 6.41 percent at Rs.666.05; Reliance Communications, down 4.44 percent at Rs.138.90; ITC, down 3.75 percent at Rs.172; and TCS, down 3.12 percent at Rs.445.15.

Data with the Mumbai bourse also showed that the Sensex has lost nearly 5 percent over the past week, nearly 8 percent over the past month and as much as 50 percent over the past year.

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