The benchmark BSE Sensex plummeted by 562.88 points on Friday to hit nearly 14-month low of 25,201.90 amid heavy selling in global equities ahead of the US jobs report.

    Friday's closing was the lowest level since July 14, 2014 when the index had closed at 25,006.98.

    Experts say a strong non-farm payrolls data is expected to allow Federal Reserve to consider a September rate hike.

    "The global risk is getting highlighted with the focus mounting on the prospects of a US rate hike soon," said Vinod Nair,  head - fundamental research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial.

    Fresh weakness in the rupee against dollar also weighed.

    On a weekly basis, the Sensex lost 1,190.48 points or 4.51% and Nifty fell 346.90 points or 4.33%. This is the fourth straight weekly plunge for both the indices.

    On the day, the NSE Nifty also cracked the 7,700-level.

    Gaurav Jain, director of Hem Securities, blamed continued selling pressure by the foreign investors, weakness in rupee and global jitters for the sell-off.

    The 30-share index stayed in the negative zone for most part of the day and touched a low of 25,119.06 before ending at 25,201.90, a steep fall of 562.88 points or 2.18%.

    The gauge had gained 311.22 points in Thursday's trade.

    The broader NSE Nifty also succumbed to all-round selling and slipped below the crucial 7,700-mark to settle the session 167.95 points or 2.15% down at 7,655.05.

    In broader markets, small-cap and mid-cap indices closed lower by 2.47% and 1.90%, respectively.

    Vedanta was the top Sensex loser, tumbling 4.84%, followed by GAIL 4.73%.

    Out of 30-share Sensex pack, 28 fell, while only Bharti Airtel and Coal India managed to buck the trend.

    Sectorally, BSE realty index suffered the most by plunging 3.32%, followed by infra 3.24%, power 3.03%, bankex 2.65%, healthcare 2.42% and IT 2.34%.

    Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei fell 2.15% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.45%, while Chinese financial markets remained closed on Friday.

    European markets were also in deep red on anticipations of a strong US jobs data.

Nitish weighs heavy on Sharad Yadav in Madhepura

  • Ashok Mishra, Hindustan Times, MADHEPURA
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 28, 2014 09:36 IST

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is apparently proving to be too heavy a weight for JD(U) president Sharad Yadav to carry in Madhepura. This has made the latter’s fight in the constituency tough against RJD strongman Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav and BJP nominee Vijay Singh Kushwaha.

Sharad Yadav is finding it hard to garner the support of the Yadavs inclined towards Lalu Prasad’s RJD. The backward communities, on the other hand, are said to be rallying behind Kushwaha.

The chief minister is seen as the common cause of anger in the constituency. “Nitish Kumar was instrumental in sending Lalu Prasad to jail. So there is no reason why Yadavs should vote for the JD(U) candidate who is an outsider,” said Ajay, an RJD worker.

See: Nitish's rally for 'Adhikar'

The BJP too is projecting Kumar as a traitor for ending years of alliance.

Sharad Yadav has been attacking BJP for using corporate money to prop up its PM candidate Narendra Modi. He has also been blaming RJD for terrorising voters to erode the JD(U)’s base among Yadavs, extremely backward castes and mahadalits.

Simultaneously, he has been wooing the upper castes, especially the Rajputs who dislike the dominance of Yadavs. He went out of the way to meet the mother of incarcerated Rajput leader Anand Mohan Singh at Panchgachhia in Saharsa district recently.

Read: Varanasi will show Modi his real place: Sharad Yadav

But the move did not go down well with the Yadavs. “There is no harm in visiting people to seek votes. But the way Sharad Yadav presented himself in front of Anand Mohan’s mother was disgusting and an affront on Yadav pride. Pagadi uchhali delak (He has lowered our prestige),” said Bahiroo Yadav of Bakhri village.

The JD(U) president’s vocal criticism of Pappu Yadav describing him as a “leader with a shady past” has also raised hackles among the  young Yadavs, especially RJD supporters. “Why then did his party nominate persons like Anant Singh and Neeraj Babloo who score more on the terror scale?” an RJD worker asked.

Pappu Yadav advised Sharad Yadav to seek votes against Anand Mohan’s wife Lovely Anand, contesting against JD(U) in Sheohar, instead of appeasing the Rajput leader’s family.

 

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