Sensex slumps below 18,000 points; ends 1.7 percent down


Mumbai : A benchmark index for Indian equities markets slumped below 18,000 points Tuesday — the lowest level in over five months — on heavy selling pressure in auto, technology and realty scrips.

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The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,425.18 points, slumped below 18,000 points mark in the last hour of trading.

The Sensex marginally pared the losses and closed at 18,022.22 points, down 305.54 percent or 1.67 percent from its previous close at 18,327.76 points. This is the lowest closing level of the 30-share index since August last year.

The benchmark Sensex touched a low of 17,982.17 points and high of 18,452.06 points in the intra-day.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also closed in the red. The index settled at 5,417.20 points, down 1.61 percent or 88.70 points.

The Nifty touched intraday low of 5,402 points and high of 5,539.15 points.

Tata Motors plunged nearly seven percent. Jindal Steel 4.34 percent was down at Rs.634.65, Jaiprakash Associates down 4.32 percent at Rs.79.75, L&T down 3.66 percent at Rs.1,581.10, and Reliance Comm down 3.47 percent at Rs.118.35 were among the major losers.

Only three of the 30 scrips that form the Sensex managed to close in the positive. Sterlite Inds, up 0.64 percent at Rs.165; HDFC, up 0.36 percent at Rs.632; and Hindalco Inds, up 0.20 percent at Rs.229.85 were the only gainers.

Broader markets closed in the red as well with the BSE midcap index settling 1.63 percent down and the BSE smallcap index 1.44 percent lower.

Other Asian stock markets were mostly in the positive. The Japanese Nikkei advanced 0.36 percent at 10,274.50 points.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.15 percent at 23,482.90 points and the Chinese Shanghai Composite index closed 0.30 percent higher at 2,798.96 points.

European markets were also in the positive. Around mid-day, the German DAX was ruling over one percent higher.

The French CAC 40 was 1.02 percent higher and the UK’s FTSE was ruling 0.93 percent higher.