Sensex touches below 10,000 mark, crashes by 552 pts during the week

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Mumbai, Oct 18 (UNI) The Bombay Stock Exchange's (BSE) 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) touched below 10,000-mark and plummeted steeply by 552.50 points, or 5.25 per cent, to 9,975.35 yesterday on sustained heavy offloading by Foreign Institutional Investors and others in view of bearish global cues.

Similarly, the 50 shares of S &P CNX Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell 205.60 points, or 6.26 pc, to 3,074.35 in the week.

''A rally that was witnessed in the first two days of the week fizzled out later, with the key benchmark indices tumbling to their lowest level in over two years on global recession worries. The barometer index BSE Sensex, which rose to a high of 11,870.22 on October 14, crashed below psychological 10,000-mark on October 17,'' a leading broker said.

Market regulator Securities &Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) decision to raise margins in the derivatives segment also weighed on investor sentiment. A sharp fall in Reliance Industries, an index heavyweight, on concerns of fall in refinery margins weighed on the market. Aggressive cut in cash reserve ratio (CRR) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and pledges by policymakers around the world to pour cash into troubled banks had boosted markets at the beginning of the week. The BSE Mid-Cap index fell 3.57 pc at 3,544.84 and the BSE Small-Cap index fell 4.31 pc at 4,167.86. Both the indices outperformed the Sensex.

The Sensex was down to 10,311.64 points, or 50.82 pc, in the calendar year 2008 so far from its close of 20,286.99 on December 31, 2007. It is 11,231.42 points, or 52.96 pc, below its all-time high of 21,206.77 struck on January 10.

BSE Bankex was down 4.27 pc to 5,546.69, BSE Realty eased 0.07 pc to 2,524.89, BSE Healthcare index came down 0.13 pc to 3,209.02, BSE IT eased 1.82 pc to 2,537.27, BSE Consumer Durables index dropped 2.53 pc to 2,085.28 and BSE Auto index eased 4.79 pc to 3,099.60.

The other sectoral indices, besidex FMCG index, outperformed the Sensex in the week ended yesterday.

BSE Metal eased 11.32 pc to 5,801.71, BSE Oil&Gas declined 10.90 pc to 6,479.56, BSE Capital Goods dropped 9.29 pc to 7,241.36, BSE Power eased 7.70 pc to 1,712.27 and BSE PSU plunged 5.43 pc to 5,235.48. These sectoral indices underperformed the Sensex in the week.

SEBI tightened margins in the derivatives segment to ward defaults and curb volatility. The exposure margin for gross open positions in single stock futures and gross open positions in stock options will now be higher of 10 pc or 1.5 times the standard deviation in the notional value of the positions.

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