Sensex slips 146 pts; RIL, banking blue-chips lose ground

Sensex slips 146 pts; RIL, banking blue-chips lose ground

Sensex slips 146 pts; RIL, banking blue-chips lose ground

Continuing its year-end downslide for the second day in a row, the stock market today lost further ground with a 146-point fall in the barometer Sensex amid weakness in blue-chips like RIL, ICICI Bank and SBI.

The 30-share benchmark index settled with a 146.10 points or about 0.92 per cent fall at 15,727.85 points. The National Stock Exchange's 50-share Nifty index also dropped 0.94 per cent or 44.70 points to close at 4705.80.

Among the heavyweights, ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), ITC, SBI and HDFC were among the major losers, even as IT giant Infosys and public-sector majors NTPC and BHEL managed to buck the trend and registered gains.

Among the 30 Sensex stocks, Jindal Steel was the biggest loser with a fall of over 7 per cent, while ICICI Bank fell about 4 per cent. SBI, Wipro, M&M and Hindalco lost over two per cent each, while RIL was down 1.95 per cent.

Stocks said that banking stocks are being hit on concerns that the bad loans might be increasing due to slowdown in the economic growth. The stocks that managed to gain ground in a weak market also included Tata Power, Cipla, DLF and Coal India.

Among the sectoral indices, metal, banking, energy, auto and FMCG segments were among the worst-hit, while the indices for power and capital goods sectors were the only two gainers. The stock market has been trading mostly with a downward bias so far in December, although the last month of the year has tradionally been a strong period.

The Sensex has dropped by about 250 points in the two consecutive sessions itself, while it had dropped more than 600 points on two straight days last week also.

The investors were also seen refraining from taking fresh positions in the market on growth concerns, while any strong global cues have also been lacking as many world markets are closed for year-end holidays. Sentiments were also hit because of a weak trend from some Asian markets and due to concerns that foreign funds might pull out money at the year-end time. However, the domestic bourses were seen neglecting the gains in some European markets.

Unlike a traditional year-end rally in the month of December, there have been only a few bouts of positive movements this time around and there have been only a few days of year-end relief rallies this month. The Sensex has gained only in seven trading sessions and has lost ground on 12 days so far this month.

The overall market breadth was also negative with just about 27 per cent stocks managing to register gains. The Sensex is trading with a loss of over 20 per cent so far in the year 2011, which has got only two days of trading left now.

The investor wealth, measured in terms of total market value of all listed stocks, has declined by about Rs 20 lakh crore from close to Rs 73 lakh crore at the beginning of 2011. In today's trade, the market suffered a loss of about Rs 50,000 crore.