M A I N   N E W S

LOST Rs 7 lakh crore
Sensex zameen par
Catches American flu, falls over 2,000 pts intra-day
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

PM allays fears on crash

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today sought to allay fears of an adverse impact of the Sensex crash on Indian economy and assured that the growth of the capital market was the UPA government’s priority. — UNI

Mumbai, January 21
The Sensex caught the American flu along with other global markets that floored the bulls and allowed the bears to nibble away Rs 7 lakh crore worth of market capitalization in less than five hours.

Manic Monday saw the Sensex and the Nifty open weak in response to other Asian indices like Hang Seng, Nikkei and Kospi reeling under selling pressure. The Indian indices were soon caught in the eye of the storm as the Sensex fell more than 2,000 points during the course of the day. It was the highest fall in the Sensex in absolute terms ever.

The panic forced the Bombay Stock Exchange to shut for a moment, but a semblance of sanity was restored before the end of the day. The Sensex closed at 17,605 levels, down 7.4 points after touching a low of 16,951 levels. In broader markets, the Nifty tanked 8.7 per cent or 496 points to end the day at 5,208 levels.

Memories of the Sensex touching 21K were soon forgotten as shares like Reliance Industries, L&T and ICICI Bank were battered down while a number mid-cap scrips plunged to 52-week lows in just about an hour.

Reliance Energy was the biggest loser among the BSE scrips losing 16.4 per cent or Rs 348. Other losers included ACC, Bajaj Auto, NTPC, Reliance Communication, Hindalco, DLF Limited and Grasim Industries.

Among sectoral indices, the worst hit was the metal index, which fell 13.3 per cent or 2,295 points. Among the big losers were Ispat Industries, (- 27 per cent), Jindal Steel & Power, (-26 per cent), Maharashtra Seamless (- 23 per cent), Sesa Goa (- 22 per cent) and Jindal Stainless (- 17 per cent).

Realty scrips, which had zoomed to stratospheric levels during the past few months, saw the bubble burst. Parsvnath Developers and HDIL fell by more than 28 per cent each. Other major scrips like Omaxe Limited, DLF and Unitech also took a beating.

The oil and gas story saw the flame out as frontline scrips took a battering. MRPL fell 26 per cent at Rs 88. Other losers included RNRL, Chennai Petroleum, GAIL India, Reliance Industries, ONGC and Cairn India.

Market mavens feel that the bourses may be in for further correction. Raamdeo Agarwal of Motilal Oswal Securities felt that the fall could continue in the coming days as investors sell of holdings in every market around the world. Globally, India was the worst performing market. Japan’s Nikkei was down 3.87 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 4.43 per cent.



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