Sensex plunges by 338.32 points

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{image-Bombay Stock Exchange_11092008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Mumbai, Sep 11: The benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange further slipped by 338.32 points to close at 14,324.29 even as Nifty was down by 109.95 points at 4,290.30, extending the downtrend for the third consecutive day on Thursday, Sep 11 following weak sentiments in the Asian markets.

The key indices of Indian bourses furthered the losses on sustained selling pressure across the sector. The downward rally was led by oil&gas, power, realty and capital goods stocks, which were hit badly in the absence of buying interest in the market, brokers said. After opening with a negative gap of 105.28 points at 14,557.33, Sensex plummeted over 397 points to a day's low of 14,265.38 from its previous close of 14,662.61 before ending the day with slight recovery in late trade. Similarly, the broader-based Nifty hit a day's low of 4,272.75, shedding 227.50 points from its previous close of 4,400.25.

Heavy selling pressure was witnessed across the board, forcing the market breadth to remain in negative zone. Banking stocks declined on worries over the possibility of further CRR hike by the Central bank in the backdrop of Dollar appreciating to a one-year high, which had propelled the fall of rupee to an over a two-year low, marketmen observed.

Index heavyweights, including Reliance Industries (RIL), Reliance Infrastructure and Bharti Airtel, fell more than 4 per cent each folowed by Tata Power and ONGC tumbling more than 3.5 per cent each.

Moreover, all the sectoral indices of BSE remained in red zone, while mid-cap index fell 1.08 per cent at 5,647.20 and small-cap drifted down 1.22 per cent at 6,818.93.

The market breadth was weak on BSE as 1,774 shares declined as compared to 861 that advanced and 74 remained unchanged. BSE clocked a turnover of Rs 4776 crore against Rs 5,185.84 crore in the previous session. Reliance Industries closed below Rs 2000 for the first time since July 16, down by 4.13 pc to settle at Rs 1997.60. It has slipped over 16 pc since August 16, 2008. Reliance lost over Rs 1,88,000 crore in its market cap.

Oil &Gas Index plunged 327.64 points or 3.39 per cent as ONGC, IOC, Cairn India, RNRL and Reliance Petroleum fell 2 to 4 per cent.

Bharti Airtel fell 4.40 pc at Rs 776.20, ICICI Bank declined 2.01 pc at Rs 686.45, HDFC was down 2.31 pc at Rs 2,266.05, HDFC Bank was down 1.90 pc at Rs 1,252.70, Maruti India dropped 2.37 pc to close at Rs 679.15 and L&T fell 1.82 pc at Rs 2,665.15.

UNI

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