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Steep fall in metals pull down Sensex

steep fall in base-metal prices in global markets dragged metal stocks lower and the segment index lost over 558 points at noon.

india Updated: May 31, 2006 12:42 IST

A steep fall in base-metal prices in global markets dragged metal stocks lower and the segment index lost over 558 points at noon, contributing to the over 600 points loss in the benchamrk Sensex.

As the BSE Sensitive Index plunged by 601.03 points, the metal index crashed by 558.16, or 6.1 per cent at 8,501.80 at noon with most of the heavy-weight shares like Hindalco, Hindustan Zinc, Tata Steel, Sterlite, Nalco, SAIL, Maharashtra Seamless, Jindal Steel and Sesa Goa.

Trading sentiment was affected following a significant fall in nickel, copper, zinc, tin and other base-metals prices at the London Metal Exchange, raised fear of narrowing profit margins of metal companies.

Metal prices at LME were hit with a bout of short-term fund selling, while there was no hard news around, traders said.

They said a major fall in nickel of around 1,400 dollar a tonne at 21,600 dollar was part of a correction in an overall bull market.

The steepest loss in LME nickel, which slumped to an intra-day low of 21,550 dollar a tonne, was partly attributed to the news that a strike by workers at Inco Ltd had been averted. Anticipation of a strike drove nickel to fresh highs of $23,000 on Friday, they added.