Sensex plunges by over 300 points in opening trade

Mumbai, Jan 31 (PTI) The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmarkSensex plummeted by over 300 points in opening trade today aspanicky fund managers and retail investors gave into sellingpressure for the fourth consecutive session, prompted by weakglobal cues amid concerns over the unrest in Egypt.

The 30-share barometer fell by 301.70 points, or 1.68 percent, to 18,094.27 points in the first few minutes of tradetoday. The Sensex had lost 755 points in the previous threesessions.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Niftyindex declined by 79.55 points, or 1.44 per cent, to 5,432.60.

Brokers said continued offloading of positions by fundsand retail investors, tracking a weakening trend in the restof Asia in the wake of sharp losses registered in the USmarket on Friday due to concerns over the protests in Egypt,besides the weak results of blue-chip companies, dampened thetrading sentiment in the domestic market.

All the sectoral indices were trading in the negativezone, witnessing losses of up to 2.75 per cent.

In other Asian markets, Japan''s Nikkei was down by 1.63per cent, while Hong Kong''s Hang Seng index was down by 1.20per cent.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.39 per centlower on Friday.

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