Sensex falls sharply in response to Budget 2008-09

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Mumbai, Feb 29: The Sensex of BSE still drifted lower by 150 points and touched a low at 17,678.94 points from its last close in early after noon trade after the Finance Minister announced of waiver of farmers' loans in Union Budget 2008-09.

The market had opened in the red and remained subdued in early trade on weak global markets. PSU Banks fell. Banking stocks fell. Later, the 30-share BSE Sensex was down 330.47 points or 1.87 per cent at 17,495.48. Sensex hit a low of 17,491.01 in early afternoon trade. At the day's low, Sensex lost 333.47 points. The current Nifty index of NSE also declined by 46.25 per cent at 5239.80 points from its last finish.

Tata Steel was down by 2.81 per cent to Rs 800.65, followed by Bharti Airtel by 2.34 per cent to Rs 824.65, Hindalco Industries by 2.23 per cent to Rs 199.50, Tata Motors by 2.34 per cent to Rs 693.90 and Wipro by 2.34 per cent to Rs 436 edged lower from the Sensex pack.

However, a few stocks rallied on speculative demand from FIIs and some domestic financial institutional investors (DIIs). Mahindra &Mahindra was up by 1.74 per cent to Rs 691.50, similarly, Cipla by 1.55 per cent to Rs 209.25, ITC by 1.16 per cent to Rs 204.35, NTPC by 0.91 per cent to Rs 205.80, Hindustan Unilever by 0.52 per cent to Rs 221.30 and Tata Consultancy Services by 0.94 per cent to Rs 888 edged higher from the Sensex pack PSU banks fell. Bank of Maharashtra was down 5.8 per cent to Rs 52.80, Punjab National Bank came down by 6.12 per cent to Rs 545.70 and Union Bank of India by 4.21 per cent to Rs 171.95 edged lower.

FM announced a complete waiver of loans for marginal farmers owning land up to one hectare and small farmers owning land up to one and two hectares.

Agricultural loans given by scheduled commercial banks, regional rural banks and co-operative credit institutions up to March 31, 2007 and due for 31 December 2007 that year will be covered under the waiver scheme to address the problem of indebtedness of farmers, brokers added.

UNI

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