Sensex sheds 319 pts in opening trade

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Mumbai, Feb 22: Taking a cue from the Asian markets looming in red, the benchmark sensitive index tumbles 319.31 points to touch a low below 17,500 level in the opening trade on sustained off-loadings of shares triggered by weak sentiments in global market.

Sensex opened the day on negative note below 219 points at 17,515.62 from its previous close of 17,734.68 and further extended the losses. Meanwhile, broader based Nifty index shed over 70 points to move near 5115 points in the early trade. US, European as well as Asian markets fell on strong fears of US recession. Stocks in the US fell after data showed that Mid-Atlantic factory production had slumped to its lowest level suggesting more rapid economic deterioration than expected, brokers said.

Bajaj Auto slipped 2.90 per cent to Rs 2341.05. It was the top loser from Sensex pack. Reliance Industries (RIL) lost 2.18 per cent to Rs 2447.

Satyam Computers was down 2.42 per cent to Rs 447.10, HDFC down 2.59 per cent to Rs 2580 and ICICI Bank came down 2.39 per cent to Rs 1116.50, joined the losers from Sensex pack.

However, Reliance Power gained 1.03 per cent to Rs 426.30 on high early volumes of 23.20 lakh shares.

As per provisional data, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased shares worth Rs 209.43 crore on February 21. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers of shares worth Rs 140.68 crore on that day.


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