Sensex plunges 455 points on dismal growth numbers

Mumbai, May 31 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Friday plunged more than two percent after official data showed that the Indian economy last fiscal grew at five percent, the slowest in 10 years.

Bank, oil and gas, automobile, capital goods, metal, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and public sector undertakings (PSU) stocks bore the selling pressure. However, information technology (IT) scrips gained.

Traders said the poor GDP numbers weighed on sentiments which had already been hit after RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao’s warning Thursday that retail inflation and the current account deficit are high.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 20,186.67 points, closed at 19,760.30 points, down 455.10 points or 2.25 percent from its previous day’s close at 20,215.40 points.

Sensex touched a high of 20,191.29 points and a low of 19,730.55 points in intra-day trade.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed 2.26 percent or 138.10 points down at 5,985.95 points.

The S&P BSE bank index was down 359.52 points, followed by oil and gas index, down 240.90 points; automobile index, down 202.74 points; capital goods, down 165.32; metal, down 163.07 points; FMCG index, down by 153.04; and PSU index, down 145.95 points.

However, IT index ended 52.47 points up.

The prominent Sensex gainers were: Infosys, up 2.79 percent at Rs.2,407.60; Sterlite Inds, up 2.58 percent at Rs.93.55; and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 0.07 percent at Rs.1,499.60.

Among the main losers were Bharti Airtel, down 4.86 percent at Rs.300.55; Gail India, down 4.26 percent at Rs.306.95; Jindal Steel, down 4.07 percent at Rs.284.20; ITC, down 4.06 percent at Rs.339.85; and Hindalco Inds, down 3.95 percent at Rs.102.25.

Among other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.37 percent higher, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng went 0.41 percent down. China’s Shanghai Composite Index also closed 0.74 percent lower.

Major European markets were trading in the negative territory. Britain’s FTSE 100 was trading 0.90 percent lower, while German DAX was down 0.58 percent. The French CAC 40 was 0.61 percent lower.

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