Sensex ends over 500 pts down at 15,066

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Mumbai, June 09: Indian stock markets closed sharply down on Monday, after plunging more than 4.5 percent during the day. Rising international oil prices and weak global cues brought about the sharp slide in markets, with the benchmark Sensex once falling below the psychological 15,000-mark amid heavy selling.

The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange index, Sensex closed 506.08 points or 3.25% down at 15,066.10. The index had once slipped to a low of 14,858.69 points, falling 713.49 points or 4.58 percent from Friday"s close. The blue-chip stocks which fell the most were Reliance Industries, Tata Steel, SBI, L&T, Infosys Technologies, ACC and ICICI Bank. The 50-issue National Stock Exchange index, Nifty ended the day 126.85 points or 2.74% down at 4500.95. Earlier, the index set its fresh 2008 low when it fell to 4419.65 points. Its previous low this year was on January 22 when the index hit levels of 4,448 points.

The Sensex fell 5.1 percent last week, its biggest weekly slide since early April, and the third weekly drop in a row. The index is down 23.2 percent so far this year. Indias annual inflation rate in late May rose to 8.24 percent, the highest since August 2004, data on Friday showed.

Other Asian markets too slumped on Monday following a slide on Wall Street Friday after crude oil prices soared to a new record near USD 140 and the latest jobs data showed a sharp rise in US unemployment.

Markets were overwhelmed by this combination of negatives, bringing back old fears that the worlds biggest economy is on the verge of a recession.

In the US, Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 3.13 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 2.96 percent on Friday.

South Koreas KOSPI today fell 23.35 points or 1.3 percent to close at 1,808.96.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index finished down 308.06 points or 2.1 percent at 14,181.38.

Singapores Straits Times index was down 2.1 percent at 3,082.07, while the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index was 1.5 percent lower at 1,230.35.

The Taiwan weighted index was 1.8 percent lower at 8,587.96, while the Jakarta composite index was off 1 percent at 2,378.16. The Thai composite index fell 1.2 percent to 807.66.

Markets in Australia, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Manila are closed for public holidays.

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