Sensex falls 249 pts; closes at near two-month low
The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex declined sharply for the second straight session on Tuesday, ending 249 points down and at its lowest level in nearly two months on dampened Asian and European sentiment.
The market opened on a firm note thanks to overnight gains in the US, but profit booking scuttled any chance of a rally and the 30-share index finally closed at 17,137.14, down by 1.43 per cent, or 248.94 points.
Markets saw heavy selling pressure during the second part of the session after Europe opened weak.
The wide-based 50-share Nifty Index of the National Stock Exchange settled at 5,148.50 points, down by 1.42 per cent.
"Weak global sentiment continues to haunt markets across the world and today's fall in domestic equity market is in the same line. The trend will continue for some more sessions," SMC Global vice-president Rajesh Jain said.
All the Asian markets ended in the red. European markets too opened on a negative note as the Euro 110 billion EU-IMF bailout for Greece failed to quell concerns over the financial stability of the Euro zone, analysts said.
Major selling was seen in metal stocks on concerns that monetary tightening in China will cripple the demand for metals. All the 13 sectoral index of the BSE ended in the red, with BSE Metal index falling most.
Hindalco dropped nearly 6 per cent, the maximum in Sensex constituents, and was followed by Tata Steel that slumped 4.93 per cent and Sterlite Industries, which fell 4.15 per cent.
Banking and financial shares also fell on fears that the RBI may resort to further monetary tightening to counter the soaring inflation. Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu today said that the rising global commodity prices are a concern for inflation.
ICICI Bank declined 2.41 per cent, HDFC Bank 1.52 per cent and State Bank of India 0.82 per cent.
There were wide spread losses across almost all sectors. However, two stocks--out of 30 blue-chip shares of the Sensex-bucked the trend and managed to end in the green.
HDFC rose 0.52 per cent a day after the lending major came out with decent Q4 results that saw net profit rise 26 per cent. It also set a 5:1 stock split, cheering gains in the scrip. Hero Honda gained by a nominal 0.1 per cent.