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Sensex plunges to 15-month low on global turmoil

Saturday August 20, 2011 05:52:47 PM, IANS

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Mumbai: Indian equities markets benchmark indices slumped to a 15-month low as turmoil in global bourses over the fears of another round of slowdown in the world economy dampened investors' sentiments.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) plunged 4.14 percent or 697.96 points to 16,141.67 points in the weekly trade.

This is the fourth consecutive weekly drop in the benchmark Sensex.

The 30-scrip index fell 328.12 points or 1.99 percent to close at 16,141.67 points Friday, the lowest level in over 15 months.

At the National Stock Exchange, the 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty also slumped over 4 percent during the weekly trade. The Nifty closed 1.99 percent down at 4,845.65 points Friday, the last trading day of the week.

Turmoil in the global markets during the last few weeks has badly affected Indian markets. There has been mayhem in the global markets since the Standard and Poor's (S&P) downgraded the US economy.

The international credit rating agency Aug 5 downgraded the top notch AAA credit rating of the US government's ability to pay back its creditors and investors to AA+. This is the first time the US economy rating has been downgraded.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Friday took stock of the situation and said the mayhem in the global markets was hurting Indian bourses.

"The effect of the market sentiments in the US and Europe has a bearing on our markets as well in the short-term," Mukherjee said.

However, the finance minister assured the investors that the fundamentals of the Indian economy were strong and the country would weather the crisis.

"As the advanced economies grapple with their problems, India is better positioned than most other nations to meet its problems," Mukherjee said.

Major Sensex losers on the last trading day of the week were: Infosys, down 5.79 percent at Rs.2,225.40; Tata Motors, down 5.28 percent at Rs.713.40; L&T, down 4.95 percent at Rs.1,544.95; and BHEL, down 4.63 percent at Rs.1,683.25.

Among gainers on the Sensex were: Jaiprakash Associates, up 2.5 percent at Rs.59.50; DLF, up 2.47 percent at Rs.186.90; Hero MotoCorp, up 2.19 percent at Rs.1,993.65; and Hindalco, up 1.13 percent at Rs.139.30.

Selling pressures were across the board. Of the 13 sectoral indices on the BSE, 12 closed in the red. IT, capital goods, telecom and banking stocks were among the biggest losers.

Fears of another round of recession in Europe and the US strengthened Thursday, pulling those markets down drastically. Asian markets, which opened Friday, reacted to this and also fell sharply.

The benchmark Japanese Nikkei closed 2.51 percent lower at 8,719.24 points, while the Chinese Shanghai Composite index ended 0.98 percent down at 2,534.36 points.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 3.08 percent down at 19,399.92 points.

European markets ended the week deep in the red. The FTSE 100 of UK slumped 1.01 percent at 5,040.76 points, the German DAX closed 2.19 percent down at 5,480 and the French CAC 40 slumped 1.92 percent at 3,016.99 points.






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