MUMBAI: In eight day long losing streak today, the BSE benchmark fell below the 16,000 level for the first time in six weeks, losing over 425 points on heavy foreign fund outflows amid depreciating rupee and weak global markets.
The Sensex, which had lost nearly 1,200 points in last seven straight sessions, plunged further by 425.41, or 2.60 per cent to 1,5946.10, the first dip below 16,000 after October 5. Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange 50-scrip index Nifty fell below 4,800 — down 127.45 points, or 2.60 per cent to 4,778.35. Metals, banking, realty, auto and IT sectors were hit hard as trading sentiment dampened on weak trend in Asia and lower opening in Europe on deepening euro zone debt crisis. Besides, the rupee hit over 32-month low of 52 against the US dollar on demand from banks and importers, mainly oil refiners weighed. Reliance Industries, with heaviest weight on the Sensex, fell 2.62 per cent and the second heaviest Infosys, by 2.86 per cent. The two stocks carry 20 per cent weight on Sensex. BHEL, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, DLF, HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Jindal Steel, Larsen and Toubro, Mahindra and Mahindra, State Bank of India, Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Power were other major losers. Besides, refiners like Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum lost ground on concerns that the weak rupee will increase the cost of crude imports. Of 30 Sensex stocks, 28 declined while Maruti Suzuki and Sun Pharma bucked the trend and ended in positive zone. All the 13 sectoral indices ended in the red.Fall in the rupee put pressure on all major importers.Slide in ICICI Bank, Infosys Tech, RIL, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Tata Motors, ITC, SBI, TCS, Bharti Airtel and ONGC contributed over 300 points to the Sensex decline.”It was another day of carnage in the stock market.Sentiment turned for the worse on probability that US will face economic crisis,” said Shanu Goel, Senior Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio.There are signs that US lawmakers may not reach an agreement on budget cuts, raising the prospect of US facing another credit downgrade, she added.”On the domestic front weakness in key heavyweight Reliance Industries and banking counters dragged the market down. Pain was felt in the currency market too as Rupee depreciated further,” Goel said.In Asia, markets in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan lost up to 2.64 per cent. European stocks too were trading distinctly weak in the afternoon. Key indices in France, Germany and Britain were down between 2.0 per cent and 2.6 per cent.Back home, major losers from the Sensex pack were Tata Motors (5.20 per cent), BHEL (5.04 pc), ICICI Bank (4.9 pc), Sterlite Ind (4.85 pc), DLF (4.23 pct), Bajaj Auto (4.21 pc), NTPC (3.93 pc), Jindal Steel (3.73 pc), HIndalco (3.72 pc), SBI (3.04 pc), Tata Steel (3.03 pc), Infosys (2.86 pc), HDFC Bank (2.80 pc), HDFC (2.78 pc), M&M (2.72 pc), ONGC (2.70 pc), RIL (2.62 pc), Bharti Airtel ((2.30 pc), Jaiprakash (2.25 pc) and TCS (2.12 pc).The market breadth continued to be negative as 1,974 stocks closed with losses, while 786 ended in gains. The total turnover fell to Rs 2,078.91 crore from the Friday’s level of Rs 2,348.04 crore.