Sensex witnesses steep fall during the week

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Mumbai, Jan 19: The benchmark indices of the Indian equity market -- Sensex and Nifty -- faced the steepest downslide on prevailing weak global cues during the week ended January 18.

The Bombay Stock Exchange sensitive index plunged 1813.75 points, or 8.7 per cent, to 19013.75, while the National Stock Exchange (NSE)'s Nifty tumbled 494.8 points, or 7.98 per cent, to 5705.30 during the week. The BSE Mid-Cap index declined 544.77 points, or 5.77 per cent, to 9893.71, while the Small-Cap index slipped 533.57 points, or 4.2 per cent, to 12160.45.

The market witnessed a sharp decline of Rs 530,444 crore in the market capitalisation during the five sessions in the week, triggered by steep fall in sectoral indices like oil&gas, realty, bankex, and metal by at least 8 to 10 per cent.

Strong selling pressure across the sector was phenomenal during the week as domestic as well as foreign investors showed interest towards profit booking. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers of over Rs 7,500-crore worth shares, and in January, net selling by the FIIs was about Rs 10,385 crore, brokers said.

Worries of the US economy heading towards recession on the fears of subprime crisis, hit the markets across the globe. The US markets were hit the worst during the week. US Federal Reserve is scheduled to announce its policy late this month.

The Indian market, which was expected to be less affected by the ongoing talks of US recession, felt the first shock-waves this week, brokers said.

But, some brokers felt this could be short-term correction in the market, which was healthy in nature. They expect the fall will promote an interest in buying in the future sessions and will be favourable time for the investors.

The initial batch of Q3 December 2007 results announced by corporate India was more or less in lines with the market expectations. The market's move would also depend on the next batch of Q3 results, analysts said.

During the past week, frontline stocks like Reliance Energy declined 14.56 per cent to Rs 2124.05. The company posted a net profit increase of 50 per cent to Rs 301.60 crore on 1.5 per cent decline in sales to Rs 1505.49 crore for the quarter ended December 2007 against the corresponding quarter last fiscal.

DLF declined 15.91 per cent to Rs 1005.75. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with Gayatri Projects to form a joint venture company for constructing road projects on build operate and transfer (BOT) basis. Gayatri Projects and its associates will hold 50 per cent stake and DLF and its associates will hold the balance 50 per cent in the joint venture.

IT major Tata Consultancy Services slipped 8.56 per cent to Rs 904.40.

Reliance Industries (RIL) tumbled 10.51 per cent to Rs 2799.50. The company posted a net profit increase of 162.2 per cent to Rs 8,079 crore on 22.7 per cent rise in sales to Rs 34,590 crore in Q3 December 2007 over corresponding quarter last fiscal.

Bharti Airtel slumped fell 9.51 per cent to Rs 873.90 on sustained selling pressure after reports that rival firm Reliance Communications was allocated Global System for Mobile communications spectrum in 14 circles in India previous week.

Bharti Airtel, currently operating in 22 telecom circles, was granted additional spectrum in two circles.

Tata Steel declined 8.36 per cent to Rs 781.9, HDFC declined 7.87 per cent to Rs 2,819.80, while Wipro declined 6.3 per cent to Rs 455.35 during the week. ICICI Bank (down 13.5 per cent to Rs 1,245.45), Infosys (down 7.33 per cent to Rs 1.464.35) and Larsen&Toubro (down 5.87 per cent to Rs 3,930.10) were the other major losers from the Sensex pack during the week.


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