Sensex down more than one and half percent

Mumbai, April 12 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets closed more than one and a half percent lower in Friday’s trade as weak industrial production numbers, coupled with disappointing results from information technology (IT) major Infosys dampened sentiments.

The latest data on India’s industrial output showed a marginal rise of only 0.6 percent in February against an expansion of 4.3 percent in the corresponding month of 2011-12.

Barring consumer goods, all other sectors of the industrial output basket declined. The performances of the mining, electricity and consumer non-durables sectors were disappointing, indicating the continuing slowdown in Asia’s third largest economy.

Infosys, on the other hand, came out with weak quarterly results and a bleak outlook for the current fiscal. The company reported a net profit of Rs.2,394 crore (Rs.24 billion) for fourth quarter (January-March) of fiscal 2012-13, registering a marginal 3.4 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth and 1.1 percent sequentially, as per Indian accounting standard.

The company also projected a modest revenue growth of six to 10 percent in dollar terms for fiscal 2013-14 over last year, reflecting global economic uncertainties.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,275.66 points, closed at 18,242.56 points, down 299.64 points or 1.62 percent from its previous day’s close at 18,542.20 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 18,337.91 points and a low of 18,186.10 in intra-day trade.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed the day 1.17 percent or 65.45 points down at 5,528.55 points.

The BSE IT index lost massive 753.72 points, while the technology, media and entertainment (TECk) index was lower by 341.52 points; capital goods index closed 62.27 points down; consumer durables index was down by 42.83 points; and the automobile index went down 42.66 points.

However, the BSE bank index was up 124.48 points, followed by fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) index which closed higher by 110.94 points and oil and gas index, up 53.03 points.

Of the 30 Sensex scrips, 16 closed in the positive. Prominent among these were ITC, up 2.75 percent at Rs.293.10; State Bank of India (SBI), up 1.98 percent at Rs.2,082.05; Hindalco Inds, up 1.61 percent at Rs.91.55; Hindustan Unilever, up 1.49 percent at Rs.478.00; and Bajaj Auto, up 1.38 percent up Rs.1,720.55.

Among the losers were Infosys, down 21.33 percent at Rs.2,295.45; Wipro, down 4.72 percent at Rs.383.30; Coal India, down 1.78 percent at Rs.299.95; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), down 1.63 percent at Rs.1,511.30; and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 1.31 percent at Rs.1,399.60.

Among other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.47 percent down, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed lower by 0.06 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index, too, closed lower, by 0.58 percent.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was trading 0.45 percent down, and the German DAX was trading 1.54 percent lower. The French CAC 40, too, was ruling 1.25 percent down.

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