Sensex plunges to 2-wk low; GST, yuan effect shaves off 354 pts

  • PTI, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 12, 2015 17:24 IST

For the fourth straight session, the benchmark BSE Sensex on Wednesday tumbled almost 354 points to settle at 27,512.26 -- its lowest closing in two weeks -- as yuan ripple effect spread.

The move by China to devalue its currency for the second day meant global volatility continued unabated. Rupee, under pressure, fell to a 23-month low at one point.

There was no good news on the reforms front too. Lingering doubt over the fate of the key GST Bill and caution ahead of announcement of macro data -- IIP for June and CPI inflation for July to be released later in the day -- dampened sentiment, brokers said.

The 30-share Sensex plunged 353.83 points, or 1.27%, to close at 27,512.26, its weakest closing since July 28. It had lost 432.04 points in the past three straight sessions. Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 23 lost while 7 gained.

The NSE Nifty index went below the crucial 8,400-mark before settling lower 112.90 points, or 1.33%, at 8,349.45.

"Uncertainty over the fate of a key GST Bill and rupee depreciating to nearly two-year low spooked the markets," said Deppak Pahwa, a Delhi-based stock broker.

According to market players, persistent selling by foreign investors amid fears that passage of the GST Bill might get delayed due to continued protests by the Opposition and unimpressive earning numbers bogged down markets.

Mood also turned sour after the rupee weakened 75 paise to trade at 64.94 (intra-day), its weakest level since September 2013 against the American currency.

Realty, metal, oil and gas, PSU and banking sectors were hit hardest. But IT was the silver lining as Infosys, TCS and Wipro1 rose up to 3.39%, backed by a firming dollar. The broader markets too felt the heat, with the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices falling 2.49% and 2.13%, respectively.

Globally, stock markets remained shaky after China lowered the value of its currency for the second day in a row, aggravating worries about the health of the world's number two economy.

All major indices in Asia ended lower while those in Europe were quoting in the red in early trade.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net sold shares worth Rs 736.81 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional exchange data.

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