Sensex major crashes by 777 points

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Mumbai, Feb 9: Sustained heavy panic selling by both foreign and domestic institutional investors led to the BSE 30-share Sensex nosediving by 777.69 points(4.26 per cent) to 17,464.89 points in the week ended on February 8, A similar decline was also witnessed in the S&P CNX Nifty index of NSE which shed 196.90 points (3.7 per cent) to 5,120.35 points.

The major heavy weight sensex pivotal counters suffered losses for the fourth straight week as selling pressure continued for index pivotals. The market slipped in last three out of five trading sessions in the week. Volatility was high throughout the week.

Small-cap and mid-cap indices outperformed the Sensex, a leading broker said. The depressed secondary market hit hard IPOs during the week as Wockhardt Hospitals and Emaar MGF Land withdrew their IPOs despite reducing the offer rates due to poor response.

The BSE Mid-Cap index declined 128.27 points or 1.65 per cent to 7,633.27, in the week ended on Friday. The BSE Small-Cap index eased 151.97 points or 1.51 per cent to 9,920.35, in the week.

The BSE Sensex has lost 3,741.88 points or 17.64 per cent from a record high of 21,206.77 hit on January 10 2008.

Trading for the week started on an upbeat note with Sensex surging 417.74 points or 2.29 per cent at 18,660.32 on Monday. On the same day, the Nifty index of NSE gained 146.25 points or 2.75 per cent at 5,463.50. The sentiment was boosted by Microsoft Corp's bid for Yahoo Inc and following China's buy of a large stake in takeover target Rio Tinto, brokers added.

On Tuesday, the Sensex rose a meagre 2.84 points or 0.02 per cent at 18,663.16, after a weak start. The broader Nifty index of NSE was up 20.4 points or 0.37 per cent to 5,483.90 on the same day, a BSE spokesperson said. The 30-share BSE Sensex slumped 523.67 points or 2.81% at 18,139.49 on Wednesday. On the same day, the Nifty index declined 161.35 points or 2.94 per cent at 5,322.55. Weak Asian markets played the spoilsport.

The 30-share BSE Sensex plunged 612.56 points or 3.38 per cent at 17,526.93 following late sell-off in index pivotals. The Nifty index slipped 189.30 points or 3.56 per cent at 5,133.25 On Friday, 8 February 2008, the Sensex declined 62.04 points or 0.35 per cent to 17,464.89, after seeing volatile swings throughout the day. The Nifty index declined 12.90 points or 0.25 per cent at 5,120.35.

India's largest private sector firm by market capitalization and oil refinery Reliance Industries fell 4.75 per cent at Rs 2421.75 in the week. As per reports, Reliance Industries (RIL)'s two wells in D6 block in the Krishna Godvari (KG) basin have hit a technical snag. The loss of two wells ran into about US Dollar 175 million.

India's second largest listed telecom firm by sales Reliance Communications (RCom) advanced 5.61 per cent to Rs 646.10 in the week.

Reliance Infratel, a subsidiary of RCom has filed its draft red herring prospectus for an initial public offer (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The company will offer 8,91,64,100 shares of Rs 5 each for cash, constituting 10.05 per cent of its post-issue paid-up equity capital, a leading broker said.

DLF, the largest real estate developer in terms of market capitalisation gained 0.39 per cent to Rs 816.70 in the week. The stock will replace Glaxosmithkline Pharmaceuticals, in S&P CNX Nifty index from March 14 2008. India's third largest software services exporter Wipro declined 3.40 per cent to Rs 422.45 in the week. As per reports the company plans to build electronic warfare systems, radars and flight simulators locally for US defence contractors.

Tata Motors, the country's largest truck manufacturer in terms of sales, shed 5.72 per cent to Rs 711.15 in the week. It reported 11.76 per cent fall in its passenger car sales in the domestic market during January 2008 at 20,119 units compared with 22,801 units in the same month a year ago.

India's largest oil exploration company in terms of market capitalisation Oil&Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) lost 4.52 per cent to Rs 997.25 in the week. As per reports, British oil major British Gas is all set to pick up a 30 per cent stake in ONGC's Krishna Godawari basin block and 25 per cent in Mahanadi basin block.

India's top small car maker in terms of sales Maruti Suzuki India slumped 11.15 per cent to Rs 803.85 in the week. The company has raised prices of many of its models by Rs 1,000 to Rs 11,000 per unit.

Banking stocks were mixed during the week. ICICI Bank declined 10.94 per cent to Rs 1066.70 and HDFC Bank lost 7.74 per cent to Rs 1445.95. However, India's largest commercial bank in terms of net profit State Bank of India rose 0.27 per cent to Rs 2,191.45.

Third quarter December 2007 results season has come to end. Most of the results were in line with market expectations. A total of 3321 companies reported 26.80 per cent rise in net profit on 19.20 per cent rise in net sales for Q3 December 2007 over Q3 December 2006.

The net profit was boosted by 72.5 per cent jump in other income.

Annual inflation based on the wholesale price index rose 4.11 per cent in the week ended on January 26 from 3.93 per cent in the week ended on January 19, government data released said.

The Bank of England on Thursday, cut its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 5.25 per cent to help shore up the economy but policy makers remained worries about inflation, dampening hopes of rapid-fire rate cuts. The European Central Bank kept euro-zone rates unchanged at 4 per cent on the same day.

Meanwhile, Reliance Power, which raised a record USD three billion in its initial share sale in January 2008, will list on exchanges on February 11. The initial public offer had received bids for USD 190 billion.


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