Renewed bear grip sends key index below 10,000


Mumbai : With general nervousness far from disappearing across the global investor community, Indian equities markets too came under bear assault once again Thursday and a key share index shed nearly 400 points to close below the psychologically important 10,000 mark.

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The 30-share benchmark sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) finished at 9,734.22, down 385.79 points or 3.81 percent from its previous close Wednesday at 10,120.01 points.

“The general nervousness is so palpable that I can feel it on real time basis when talking to high net worth individuals, retail investors, franchises, anyone I come across sitting in a brokerage house,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, director of India’s fourth largest share brokerage firm, the Delhi-based SMC Group.

Consequently, there is all round selling pressure, analysts said, adding foreign institutional investors, domestic institutional investors, mutual funds and retail investors, all want to take money out of the market and are afraid of staying invested.

Also, after Wednesday’s shedding of values across US and European markets and across Asian markets Thursday morning, the stage was set for another round of bear assault and short selling, Thunuguntla said.

The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq had closed Wednesday down 5.25 percent and 5.53 percent respectively.

Similarly, Asian markets Thursday were in the red before Indian markets opened. The Nikkei, key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed 6.53 percent down. The Hang Seng, key index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange also finished 7.08 percent down.

Taking these global cues, the market opened weak at 9,755.03 points, down 364.98 points or 3.6 percent from its previous close Wednesday and hit an intra-day low of 9,635.22 before inching up a little to its closing value.

The broader-based 50 share S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also opened weak and closed at 2892.65, down 102.3 points or 3.42 percent from its previous close at 2994.95 points.

The BSE midcap index closed at 3,318.41, down 76.20 points or 2.24 percent from its previous close at 3,394.61 points.

The BSE smallcap index too finished in the red at 3,880.27, down 84.51 points or 2.13 percent from its previous close at 3,964.78 points.

Except for realty and health care, all the other 11 sectoral indices finished in the red with metal, oil and gas, telecommunication, media and technology and information technology being the worst losers.

Only six out of the 30 shares that make up the Sensex ended in the green. Top gainers were Jaiprakash Associates, up 4.10 percent, Ranbaxy Laboratories, up 3.72 percent, Hindustan Unilever, up 3.05 percent and DLF Ltd. gaining 2.46 percent.

The top losers were Tata Steel, down 13.67 percent, Tata Motors, down 12.17 percent, Sterlite Industries, down 11.33 percent and Reliance Industries, down 7.71 percent.

News of lending rate cuts by various state-owned banks and the promise of such cuts by private lenders did not make any difference to the selling pressure as investors continued to pump out cash from the market, analysts said.

The all round selling by investors completely outmatched any bottom fishing and value buying at the lower levels, they said.

As many as 1,633 stocks or 63.17 percent declined, 869 or 33.62 percent advanced and 83 stocks or 3.21 percent remained unchanged.

The market may again bounce back a little Friday now that it has shed nearly 1,000 points in two trading sessions, but the all round nervousness is palpable and persistent and there is neither energy nor enthusiasm for a sustained bull rally, analysts said.