Benchmark index crashes to new seven-month low


Mumbai : In line with downward global trends and dampened by reports of a slowdown in industrial growth, Indian stock markets Thursday ended in the red on the back of heavy selling in key sectors with a benchmark index closing at a new low since August 2007.

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The 30-share Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) notched it lowest closing figure since Aug 31, while the markets tumbled to its sixth biggest fall in history.

The markets that opened in the red failed to pick up later in the day and the slide continued in the afternoon as heavy selling was witnessed in metals, capital goods, realty and oil scrips.

The Sensex opened at 15,873.28 points and could not go any higher before closing at 15,357.35 points, losing 770.63 points or 4.78 percent at the day’s close.

The S&P CNX Nifty index on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), which opened at 4,868.70 points, closed at 4,623.60 after touching the day’s high at 4,868.80 points. At day’s close, it registered a fall of 248.40 points or 5.10 percent.

The BSE Midcap index, which closed at 6,527.67 points, went down 382.18 points or 5.53 percent.

Similarly, the BSE Smallcap index, which closed at 8,075.18 points, was down by 456.74 points or 5.35 percent.

On BSE, the market breadth was extremely low with low trading volumes. A total of 345 shares advanced, 2,332 shares declined and 31 shares remained unchanged.

Other Asian markets also closed in the red Thursday.

The top gainers of the day included Hindustan Unilever at Rs.222.45, up 0.32.

The top losers of the day were DLF at Rs.606.75, down 14.87 percent, Reliance Energy at Rs.1197.25, down 9.87 percent, Hindalco at Rs.173.70, down 9.44 percent and Tata Steel at Rs.697.20, down 9.04 percent.