BSE Sensex plunges by 337.99 points

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Mumbai, Mar 4: The Sensex nosedived by another 337.99 points on the Bombay Stock Exchange today to close to close at 16,339.89 on sustained profit booking interest amid highly volatile trading and weak global cues.

The benchmark Sensex, which pluged heavily in the previous session, however, opened the day with a positive gap of 64.32 points at 16,742.20 after closing at 16,677.88 in the previous session on some initial buyings in select scrips. But it failed to hold the gains and slipped into red on strong downsurge created by major banking stocks including the largest private bank ICICI Bank, which tumbled by over 9 per cent after the report that it had a subprime loss of USD 250 million, brokers said.

Sensex was down 513.31 points to touch a day's low at 16,164.57 soon after its reopening at 1230 hrs, after 45 minute pause due to sun outage. However, it recovered from its lowest end and ultimately settled in negative zone after witnessing alternate bouts of buying and sellings in blue-chips, brokers added.

Meanwhile, the broader CNX S&P Nifty index of National Stock Exchange dropped 88.75 points to close at 4,864.25 from its previous close at 4,953.00 following the same trend.

Banking and realty stocks were the worst hit in today"s trade, followed the loss by Power, oil&gas, IT and Auto stocks, which bucked the bearish trend. 19 out of 30 stocks from the Sensex pack were in the red. The market breadth was extremely weak.

The Sensex has lost 1465.37 points or 8.22 percent to the current 16,359.11 from its close of 17824.48 February 28' 2008.

BSE clocked a turnover of Rs 5804 crore today compared to Rs 5,106.59 in the previous session.
The NSE's futures&options (F&O) segment turnover was Rs 40644.50 crore, which was higher than Rs 36591.82 crore in previous session. The BSE Mid-Cap index fell 2.48pc at 7,182.23 and the Small-Cap declined 3.09pc at 8,953.28. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth was weak as on BSE, 497 stocks advanced as compared to 2198 that declined and 42 stocks remained unchanged.

ICICI Bank fell 5.16 pc to Rs 971.60, off day"s low of Rs 929.10, Reliance Industries (RIL) fell 2.74pc to Rs 2241.50, off session's low of Rs 2210.

However, Hindalco Industries gained 5.27 pc to Rs 199.90, Maruti Suzuki ended up 3.59pc at Rs 905.70, Mahindra&Mahindra surged 3.08pc at Rs 705.35, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) went up 2.54 pc at Rs 2636.65, Tata Motors climbed 1.25pc at Rs 701.80 and Reliance Energy added 1.29pc to close firm at Rs 1504.75.

Top Sensex losers of the day were reality stocks ACC and DLF that came down 05.11pc, Reliance Communication shed 4.96pc, Cipla declined 4.61pc, ITC came down 4.22pc and Larsen&Toubro lost 3.61pc.

The Bankex fell 4pc at 9,056.76. Yes Bank was the top loser in the group as it plunged 9.97pc, followed by Canara Bank down 6.43pc, Kotak Mahindra Bank down 5.89pc, Bank of India down 5.88pc, Axis Bank down 3.32 and State Bank of India was down 2.57pc to be among the other losers.

UNI

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