Sensex ends at 15-month low of 13,461

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{image-sensex, big_30062008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Mumbai, Jun 30: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Monday, June 30, fell for the second straight session to a 15-month low of 13,461.60 points, as funds and general investors off-loaded holdings in refinery, bank and realty segments following projections of a fall in economic growth.

The Sensex, which had lost 620 points on Friday, fell further by 340.62 points to a level last seen on April 13, 2007. The index touched a low of 13,405.54 and a high of 13,872.06 points, revealing a wide fluctuation in share prices during the day. The index has dropped 33 percent this year, its worst six months since the benchmark was introduced in 1979. The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty tumbled by 96.10 points at 4040.55, after touching the day's low of 4021.70 and a high of 4163.00 points.

Selling pressure gathered momentum after reports that the rising crude and inflation data might pull down the economic growth to 7.5 percent from the previous level of 9 percent.

ICICI Bank, second-largest lender and index-linked, fell to its lowest in almost two years after a leading banker forecast a drop in loan profitability.

Refinery stocks suffered the most led by Reliance Industries. The sectoral index dropped by 378.47 points at 9,009.16, followed by capital goods by 361.45 at 10,080.69.

The recent rise in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India dampened trading sentiment in realty, auto and banking sectors on fears the hike would hit businesses of these industries.

Realty sector index plunged by 331.78 at 4,543.47 and banking sector index by 209.97 points at 5,915.98.

Among bank scrips, State Bank stocks fell after the bank said loan profitability is likely to drop. SBI fell Rs 46.85 at 1,111.45, ICICI Bank by Rs 22.90 at 630.20, Axis Bank by Rs 25.30 at 603.65, HDFC Bank by Rs 16.35 at 1,002.30 and PNB by Rs 26 at 377.25.

PSU index lost 155.20 points at 5,666.42, auto index by 104.30 at 3,585.62, consumer durable by 171.73 points at 3477.60, metal index by 85.15 points at 13,207.30, power index by 82.87 points at 2252.39 and tech index by 49.64 points at 3043.99. With the general trend, Small-Cap index fell 236.11 points at 6701.96 and Mid-Cap by 172.27 points at 5386.48.

However, Information Technology index gained 15.07 points at 4,019.82, healthcare index by 14.28 points at 4164.33 and FMCG index by 7.18 points at 2080.33.

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