Samvat 2064 — the beginning of Hindu calendar year — had an inauspicious beginning. The 151-point fall on the Muhurat (an auspicious moment or time to begin an activity) trading day on November 9, 2007, the first in 10 years, extended through the year.
It dragged the Sensex — the BSE’s benchmark index — down 55 per cent lower at the close of the Hindu calendar year on Monday.
The Sensex closed at 8,509 points, down from its 18,908 point perch on November 9, 2007.
ICICI Bank topped the losers in percentage terms in Samvat 2064. Its shares were down 73 per cent at Rs 316 per share. The shares of Larsen & Toubro, the country's biggest construction firm, were 65 per cent at Rs 723 per share.
Traders are confused but hope the Muhurat trading for Samvat 2065, on October 28, 2008, would provide some relief from the batterings of the past year.
Their hopes hinge on the fact that some fundamentally good shares are available dirt cheap. Equity markets have been on a slide, interspersed with a few relief rallies, as the worst-ever financial crisis gripped the world and froze the global credit market.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) are on a selling spree, not even sparing blue chip companies. The investors have sold over $12 billion in shares in 2008 so far.
Brokers say equity market is clueless on what factors would move the market, with the uncertain global situation expected to last another year. Though valuations are cheap, they are unsure about buying now fearing further fall in share prices.
Though the sentiment continues to be negative, there is some feeling that cheap valuations would provide some support in the face of unabating downward pressure.
“The Sensex fell 151 points on the last Muhurat trading,” said Hansal Thakker, director, Lalkar Securities. “We expect this time the index will be in the green. Clearly, these valuation are too low to be sold off. I think the bear operators are covering their short positions and there are some signs of buying support.”
Stock broker Madhukar Seth said, “Everyone knows a crisis is there. But you need to blame all those 25-year-old MBA graduates, who just came out of the universities, and always gave bad ratings to manufacturing and infrastructure sector.”