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Another loss-making week at Indian markets

business Updated: Mar 07, 2009 14:32 IST

Indian equities markets were down in the dumps during the week just ended as investors continued to offload stocks amid worsening domestic and global economic cues, resulting in a key index dipping below its three-year low.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) touched its three-year low on Tuesday and ended trade on Friday at 8,325.82 points, a loss of 565.79 points or 6.36 per cent from its previous weekly close.

Similarly, the broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) shut shop at 2,620.15 points, about 5.2 percent lower than last week's close.

Broader market indices like the BSE midcap index lost 172 points or 6.24 per cent while the BSE smallcap index was down 194.28 points or 6.25 per cent.

"This week we saw investors being pretty much on the edge, which is why markets touched lows last seen in November. Friday's rise was mainly due to short-covering," said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, chief executive of New Delhi-based brokerage firm SMC Group.

"I don't think the pain is over yet, we would see markets falling further in the coming months. There is no genuine buying interest and I think this scenario will continue for some more time," he added.

Markets started the week on a disappointing note with investors continuing to sell, pulling the Sensex down 3.2 per cent or 284.53 points to close at 8,607.08 points. The Nifty was at 2,674.6 points, 3.22 per cent lower.

Tuesday saw the Sensex plummeting to a three-year low as investors expressed concern over the global slowdown and gloomy statistics back home on some key economic parameters.

The Sensex saw some heavy volatility for nearly three hours, after which it took a sharp fall to end the day with a loss of 2.09 per cent or 179.79 points over Monday's close. At 8,427.29 points, the Sensex ended with the lowest closing since Nov 10, 2005.

Nifty fared no better, ending at 2,622.4 points, down 1.95 per cent from its previous close at 2,674.6 points.

Markets managed to hold their own on Wednesday despite economic cues getting no better, and the Sensex even managed a small rise of 19.2 points or 0.23 per cent from its previous close to end trade at 8,446.49 points.

Similarly, Nifty gained 0.87 per cent from its last close to end at 2,645.2 points.

Wednesday's resilience was, however, short-lived as markets slipped again on Thursday, taking the Sensex past the three-year low to close at 8,197.92 points - a fall of 2.94 per cent or 248.57 points from the previous day's close.

Nifty met with the same fate, ending at 2,576.7 points, down 2.59 per cent from its previous close at 2,645.2 points.

Friday was a far better day, with both the Sensex and the Nifty gaining more than 1 per cent.

The Sensex rose 127.9 points or 1.56 per cent to close at 8,325.82 points, while the Nifty gained 1.64 per cent from its last close to end at 2,619.05 points.

The top gainers on the Sensex during the week were Cipla (up 6.3 per cent), Ambuja Cement (up 5.8 per cent), Wipro (up 2.8 per cent), Hindalco (up 2.2 per cent) and Grasim (up 2.1 per cent).

Among the top losers were Reliance Capital (down 18.7 per cent), ICICI Bank (down 17.8 per cent), Ranbaxy (down 12.7 per cent), Tata Power (down 12.1 per cent) and Hindustan Unilever (down 11.7 per cent).

Foreign funds were net sellers to the tune of $609.3 million this week as they scrambled to meet payment obligations in their parent countries.