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Sensex tumbles by another 398 pts on hike in interest rates

The BSE benchmark Sensex extended losses for the second consecutive week by slipping by another 398 points on persistent selling pressure from operators on hike in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India.

business Updated: Jun 18, 2011 14:15 IST

Stocks: The BSE benchmark Sensex extended losses for the second consecutive week by slipping by another 398 points on persistent selling pressure from operators on hike in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

In addition to the central bank's anti-inflationary stance, weak global cues also prompted investors to liquidate their positions. Fears of a potential default by Greece and weak economic data in the US added to the nervousness among investors.

The barometer index BSE Sensex fell by 398.01 points or 2.18% to 17,870.53. The 50-unit S&P CNX Nifty also lost by 119.40 points or 2.18% to 5,366.40.

The BSE Small-Cap index fell 1.38% and the BSE Mid-Cap index 1.21%.

Key benchmark indices dropped to three-week lows as concerns over Greece's debt crisis rattled world stocks.

Interest rate sensitive realty, banking and auto stocks declined after the RBI raised its key lending rate viz. the repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5% to tame inflation.

India's largest private sector company by market capitalisation Reliance Industries (RIL) was the biggest Sensex loser of the week. The stock fell 8.01% to Rs 868.40 on reports that a government watchdog has accused the Oil Ministry for favouring the firm by allowing it to double the development cost of its KG-D6 gas field.

Among the major indices the BSE Oil&Gas fell by 4.80% followed by BSE-IT by 4.51%, the BSE-Teck by 3.14%, the BSE-Metal by 2.93%, the BSE-Auto by 1.97% and the BSE-Realty by 1.88%.

India's largest car maker by sales Maruti Suzuki India tumbled 5.07% to Rs 1167.40, hit by a strike at the company's Manesar plant. India's largest truck and bus maker by sales Tata Motors shed 3.82% to Rs 980.80.

IT stocks declined on weak economic data in the US and on continuing sovereign debt crisis in Europe. India's largest IT company by sales TCS fell 6.57% to Rs 1,110.50.

India's third largest IT company by sales Wipro fell 6.55% to Rs 409. India's second largest IT company by sales Infosys Technologies fell 3.40% to Rs 2764.40.

Other losers were Hindalco (7.92%),Sterlite Ind (4.82%), DLF (2.82%), Mahindra & Mahindra (2.61%), HDFC (1.81%) and State Bank of India (1.42%).

Anil Ambani's Reliance Infrastructure was the top Sensex gainer. The stock jumped 6.64% to Rs 580.50. India's largest FMCG company by sales Hindustan Unilever rose 3.12% to Rs 321.05, on defensive buying in a falling market. Telecom majors, Reliance Comm (up 2.81%) and Bharti Airtel (up 1.73%).

The total tunrover at BSE and NSE shot up by Rs 14,635.11 crore and Rs 49,014.84 crore respectively from Rs 12,540.55 crore and Rs 42,603.73 crore previously.

Forex: The Indian rupee snapped its last 2-week gains by slipping 14 paise to end the week at 44.86/87 against the American currency due to fresh dollar demand from banks and importers in view of a firm dollar overseas amidst weak equity markets.

The rupee resumed the week lower at 44.86/87 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market as against the last weekend's level of 44.72/73 per dollar and hovered in a range of 44.6600 and 44.9650 before settling the week at the 44.86/87.

Alpari India CEO Pramit Brahmbhatt said, the rupee depreciated this week, taking cues from the local equities which were trading bearishly. RBI also hiked the key rates by 25 bps which weakened the Rupee further.

USD/INR pair made a low of 44.96 & high of 44.55 this week. Euro & GBP collapsed against the dollar after the Greece debt worries. Looking towards the strong dollar, rupee is expected to depreciate in coming days.

The dollar index, which tracks its performance against a basket of major currencies, traded positively as Euro fell to a three-week low against the US dollar. GBP & Yen also showed weakness throughout the week, which boosted the index to trade to touch a three week high at $75.96. Expect Euro & GBP to traded steady in coming days.

Commodity market was flat this week. Gold traded weak throughout the week. It traded in a very short range & closed near to its opening levels. Silver also continued to fall for the third consecutive week. Not much movement is expected in coming days. Crude also traded weak; it traded at four month low after the Greece issue was out this week.

First Published: Jun 18, 2011 14:11 IST