Markets plummet amid profit booking


Mumbai : Indian equities markets Wednesday plunged amid heavy selling with a key index ending trade 2.62 percent lower than its previous close.

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Overall investor sentiment was low as investors sold frontline stocks, triggered by Satyam’s failed bid to acquire its promoter group companies, Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties.

The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) fell 261.69 points or 2.62 percent from Tuesday’s 9,976.98 points to close at 9,715.29 points.

“Overall sentiments in the markets are very edgy and such occasional setbacks will continue to happen till a more reassuring feeling settles down among investors,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, head of the capital markets arm and director of India’s fourth largest share brokerage firm, the Delhi-based SMC Group.

The broader-based 50-share S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also followed a similar trend to close at 2,954.35 points, 87.4 points or 2.87 percent lower than its previous close.

Of the 13 sectoral indices, the banking index was the least affected with a marginal decrease of 0.15 percent, while the most hit were realty and technology stocks that fell 7.36 and 5.02 percent respectively.

Added Thunuguntla: “Any measure taken by the industry or the government will have its benefits and that’s why we saw banking stocks rally last few days, but any such rally can’t go on for long.”

Among top gainers in the Sensex were ICICI Bank (up 2.43 percent to close at Rs.421.55), HDFC Bank (up 1.83 percent at Rs.984) and surprisingly Infosys Technologies, which managed to gain despite Satyam shares’ fall. Infosys was up 1.51 percent to close at Rs.1,122.9.

Satyam predictably topped the loser charts with the scrip losing 30.22 percent of its closing price Tuesday and closed at Rs.226.5. Reliance Infrastructure followed with the stock losing 13.73 points to close at Rs.636.55.

Broader market indices fell with the midcap index closing 3.33 percent lower than the previous close, while the smallcap index dipped 2.6 percent.

Trading on Asian markets also picked up, with the Nikkei, a key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, rising to currently rule at 0.52 percent higher than its previous close.

The Hang Seng, a key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange performed better, rising by 2.18 percent over its previous close.