Selling spree sends Sensex into a tailspin

Investors hammer down stocks to new lows on market worries, aver analysts

Markets across the world were gripped with volatility as bullish economic data from China raised concerns Beijing may tighten policy. European markets were trading mixed after a firm start, so was Asian markets turned mixed after a weak start.  Inflation data released in the afternoon was of little help to improve the market performance.

Sectoral indices

Apart from these factors ‘investors fatigue’ also weighed heavily on the sentiments in Dalal Street, according to observers and analysts.  So much so, all sectoral indices closed in the red on Thursday, while capital goods sector the major loser followed by power, realty, healthcare, metals, bank and oil & gas indices, most of them down by 3 to 5 per cent.

The popular BSE Sensex lost 423.35 points or 2.42 per cent to close at 17,051.14 points and the broader based NSE S&P CNX Nifty was down 127.55 points or 2.44 per cent to 5094.15 points. The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market was extremely weak, with as many as 2,369 shares on BSE declined as compared with 579 that rose and a total of 51 shares remained unchanged. In all, the markets reported highest turnover for the year at Rs 1,35,178 crore, including 17,731crore from the NSE cash segment and Rs 6,329 crore from the BSE cash segment, while turnover in NSE’s futures & options (F&O) segment soared to Rs 1,11,117 crore from Rs 65,565 crore on January 21, 2010.   As far as broader indices, BSE Mid-Cap index fell 2.39 per cent to 6,858, outperforming the Sensex. The BSE Small-Cap index declined 2.47 per cent to 8,760, underperforming the Sensex.  While Nifty Junion was down 2.5 per cent, that of CNX Midcap fell 2.51 per cent.

Mixed trading in Europe

Going by bourses abroad during the day, European shares were trading mixed, continuing a choppy week for trading, with miners recouping some sharp losses made in the previous session. Key benchmark indices in Germany and France were up 0.06 and 0.32 per cent. However, UK’s FTSE 100 index fell 0.21 per cent.  Asian markets ended mixed. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan were down by between 1.13 and 1.99 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 1.22 per cent led by technology shares. South Korea’s Seoul Composite index was up 0.45 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite index added 0.22 per cent.  Chinese data released on Thursday were largely in line with expectations, showing economic growth powered higher in the fourth quarter, putting the full-year figure above forecasts. But inflation surprised to the upside, suggesting fiscal and monetary policy tightening could be ahead.

Amongst the 30 Sensex counter none closed in the green with the overall market breadth being extremely negative with 2,357 declines against only 557 gainers on the BSE.

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