Sensex falls to three-and-half month low

Mumbai : A benchmark index for Indian equities markets Friday fell for the seventh straight day, closing at a three-and-half month low as concerns about the European debt crisis continued to plague investors.

Also, the rupee falling to its biggest weekly loss in eight weeks to 51.33 a dollar spooked traders.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened lower at 16,387.7 points, closed at 16,371.51 points — down 90.2 points or 0.55 percent from its previous close at 16,461.71 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also ended in the red, 28.95 points or 0.59 percent lower at 4,905.8 points.

Broader markets also closed in the negative, with the BSE 500 index closing 0.64 percent down. The BSE midcap index shed 1.03 percent, while the BSE smallcap index fell 1.9 percent.

The market breadth at the BSE was negative with 882 stocks advancing and 1,989 scrips declining. Another 108 remained unchanged.

According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors were net sellers Friday to the tune of $31.69 million.

Among gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex were: Hero MotoCorp, up 3.05 percent at Rs.2,184.15; Tata Power, up 2.42 percent at Rs.97.45; Wipro, up 1.88 percent at Rs.374.55 and HDFC, up 1.34 percent at Rs.643.35.

Losers on the benchmark included: M&M, down 2.74 percent at Rs.737.80; ITC, down 2.46 percent at Rs.202.15; TCS, down 2.24 percent at Rs.1,088.05 and Coal India, down 2.2 percent at Rs.298.30.

Asian markets stocks were ruling lower as fears of the European debt crisis and the sluggish growth in the region continued to weigh on investors.

Concerns about debt-ridden countries able to pay back creditors overshadowed the release of positive economic data from the US which showed the manufacturing sector registering growth after many months.

The Japanese Nikkei closed 1.23 percent down at 8,374.91 points, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.73 percent lower at 18,491.23 points.

The Chinese Shanghai composite index closed 1.89 percent lower at 2,416.56 points.

European markets were ruling subdued. Britain’s FTSE was ruling 0.42 percent lower at 5,400.32 points and the German DAX was trading 0.4 percent up at 5,873.66 points.

The French CAC 40 was ruling 0.25 percent up at 3,017.79 points.

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