Sensex sinks 285 points on growth worries to end at 25,519 | business | Hindustan Times
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Sensex sinks 285 points on growth worries to end at 25,519

business Updated: Dec 18, 2015 17:09 IST

Pulling back from a two-week high, the benchmark Sensex on Friday broke its 4-day winning spell by falling over 284 points after the government lowered its economic growth forecast for 2015-16 to 7-7.5%.

The commodity rout, including that of oil, only added to the anxiety level, which saw most Asian markets turning weak. With shares linked to commodities again taking a hammering and a lower opening in Europe, sentiment moved south.

The government on Friday lowered its economic growth forecast for 2015-16 to 7-7.5% from the earlier 8.1-8.5%, but said budget deficit target will be met as higher tax revenues offset a shortfall in PSU stake sale.

The gauge after opening lower stayed in the negative terrain during the session and finally ended 284.56 points, or 1.10%, down at 25,519.22 following profit-booking in recent gainers. Intra-day, it moved between 25,481.51 and 25,789.51.

The index had risen about 760 points in the past four sessions.

For the week, both indices - BSE and NSE - gained 1.89% and 1.99%, their biggest since October 9.

The 50-share NSE Nifty cracked below the 7,800-mark by sliding 82.40 points, or 1.05% at 7,761.95 after shuttling between 7,753.35 and 7,836.15.

In the previous three sessions, the markets rose largely in tandem with a firming trend overseas after the US Fed, as expected, hiked rates by 0.25%, a hint that the economy is strengthening.

Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 28 ended with losses and 2 finished higher.

Investors after remaining buyers in the past four sessions were seen booking profits in heavy-weight stocks, brokers said.

Stocks of software exporters bore the brunt during the session after the US Congress imposed a special outsourcing fee of up to USD 4,500 on H-1B and L-1 visas, which are popular among Indian IT companies, to fund a 9/11 healthcare Act and biometric tracking system.

In the IT segment, Infosys, TCS and Wipro ended lower by up to 1.90%, dragging down the sectoral indices by 1.31%.

Others that weighed on the indices include Vedanta Ltd, Lupin, SBI, Hindalco, RIL, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto and Dr Reddy’s.

On the sectoral front, the BSE Metal fell 0.89%, banking 0.88%, healthcare 0.70% and auto 0.69%.

However, it was a mixed scene in broader markets, with the mid-cap index climbing 0.08% and the small-cap one shedding 0.24%.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 638.01 crore on Thursday, according to provisional data.