Sensex slumps 389 points on reform concerns

Mumbai : A benchmark index for Indian equities slumped 2.3 percent Thursday as uncertainties over domestic policy reforms and eurozone debt crisis continue to weigh on investors’ sentiments.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the red at 16,819.74 points, closed at 16,488.24 points, down 2.30 percent or 388.82 percent from its previous close at 16,877.06 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 16,847.82 points and a low of 16,421.55 points in the intra-day.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also slumped below psychologically important 5,000 points mark. The Nifty closed 2.35 percent down at 4,943.65 points.

Uncertainties on the key policy reforms weighed heavily on the market sentiments. The government announced Wednesday it will put on hold the cabinet decision to allow up to 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

There was heavy selling pressure in realty, metal, banking and consumer goods stocks.

Among the sectoral indices of the BSE, the consumer goods index slumped 4.40 percent. Realty index fell 3.8 percent and metal index tumbled 3.15 percent.

Among the major Sensex losers were: Jaiprakash Associates, down 5.41 percent at Rs.66.45; BHEL, down 5.28 percent at Rs.273.55; L|| chr(38) ||T, down 5.11 percent at Rs.1,262.95; Hindalco Inds, down 5.02 percent at Rs.130.65; and Sterlite Inds, down 4.38 percent at Rs.104.75.

Only five of the 30 Sensex scrips closed in the positive. Wipro, up 2.35 percent at Rs.413.25; Sun Pharma, up 1.49 percent at Rs.518.55; Cipla, up 0.88 percent at Rs.327.70; Tata Power, up 0.61 percent at Rs.98.20; and Bajaj Auto, up 0.29 percent at Rs.1728.70.

Other Asian markets also closed in the red. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.66 percent at 8,664.58 points, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.69 percent at 19,107.81 points and China’s Shanghai Composite index declined 0.13 percent at 2,525.00 points.

European markets opened in the positive. Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 15 percent, German DAX was ruling 0.20 percent higher at French CAC 40 was 0.21 percent higher around noon trade.

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