The postponement of a key meeting between the government and its communist allies on the proposed nuclear deal between US and India keeps the future of the deal uncertain. Talks were set to take place yesterday, in New Delhi, but Communist leaders say the meeting will now take place on June 25, 2008. Asian markets, which opened before Indian markets, were trading weak. Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan were down by 1.62 to 3.37 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its lowest level in three months on Wednesday, as worries about a weak US economy compounded by credit sector concerns dragged down shares in banks, autos and transport firms.
The current, the 30-share BSE Sensex was down 213.32 points or 1.38 per cent at 15,208.99. The index recorded the day's high at 15,259.35 and a low of 15,156.75. The broader-based S&P CNX Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) was down by 52.30 points or 1.14 per cent at 4,530.10 from its last close of 4,582.40. It resumed flat at 4,582.55, later it registered the day's high at 4,585.70 and a low at 4,511.05 points.
India's largest drug maker by sales Ranbaxy Laboratories declined 4.15 per cent at Rs 573.40 after the Company agreed to keep generic versions of the Pfizer's cholesterol pill Lipitor off the US market for extra 20 months. As per the agreement, Ranbaxy will not sell a generic of Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug, until November 2011. Ranbaxy was the top traded counter on BSE with a turnover of Rs 96.72 crore.
The other major Sensex losers were, Maruti Suzuki was down 3.01 per cent at Rs 742, followed by Larsen&Toubro by 2.15 per cent at Rs 2,691.45, Bharat Heavy Electricals by 2.25 per cent at Rs 1,466, and State Bank of India by 1.84 per cent at Rs 1,326.50.
The top Sensex gainers were, ACC was up by 1.37 per cent at Rs 652, followed by Hindalco Industries by 0.725 per cent at Rs 175.55, Ambuja Cements by 0.77 per cent at Rs 91.30 and Tata Steel by 0.33 per cent at Rs 825.40.