Sensex plunges 575 pts during the week

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Mumbai, Oct 4 (UNI) The BSE 30-share Sensex lost 575.86 points, or 4.40 per cent, to end two-year low at 12,526.32 in the week ended yesterday on the global cues, especially the jittery US financial sector.

Similarly, the S &P CNX Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) crashed by 166.95 points, or 4.18 pc, to close negative at 3,818.30 during the same period. The BSE Mid-Cap index declined 5.32 pc at 4,677.80 and BSE Small-Cap index declined 6.76 pc at 5,465.40.

Brokers said ''The major heavyweight stocks fell sharply last week amid uncertainty about the future of the US economy. Wary investors continued to unload shares across-the-board as uncertainty persisted over the USD 700 billion bailout plan for US financial institutions.'' The US Senate passed the government's financial rescue plan on October one, after the House of Representatives rejected it in its original form. The House is now expected to vote on the revised bill on October three. Under this plan, the US Treasury would buy illiquid assets held by financial institutions, in the hope of restoring confidence and thawing credit markets vital to the wider economy.

Stocks fell across the board during the week on persistent questions over the effectiveness of the US bailout package and on continued instability in the global banking sector.

The key benchmark indices snapped last three days losses to post the decent gains on September 30.

The top heavyweight stocks also suffered a setback as Infosys Technologies slipped 3.92 pc to Rs 1,390.95 on reports that Axon, the British information technology company, has decided to accept the HCL Technologies' counter offer of 650 pence a share. Ranbaxy Laboratories fell 3.14 pc to Rs 263.85. As per reports, the US Department of Justice may withdraw the motion against the company next week in a US local court.

Videocon Industries fell 3.62 pc to Rs 206.20. A consortium that includes Videocon Industries and Bharat PetroResources has struck oil at a block in Brazil. Videocon, along with Bharat PetroResources, which is owned by state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp, holds 25 per cent interest in the offshore block, located in the Campos Basin in Brazil.

ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector bank by market capitalisation, slumped 10.11 pc to Rs 504.50. The bank assured the investors that it was well-capitalised after a number of ICICI Bank ATMs reported unusual increase in cash withdrawal between September 29-30, in some parts of the country.

Power plants developer, KSK Energy Ventures, spurted 3.62 pc to Rs 217.60. As per recent reports, the company has aggressive expansion plans of increasing the current operational capacity of 144 megawatt to 9,137 MW by 2013. Reliance Industries fell 10.20 pc to Rs 1,760.95.

Inflation based on the wholesale price index rose 12.14 per cent in 12 months to September 13, according to the government data released on September 25.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 199.70 crore on October one. They sold shares worth Rs 36,991.70 crore in the calendar year 2008 so far (till October one). Mutual funds bought shares worth Rs 147.80 crore on October one.

UNI AR SSS NP1629

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