Fears of possible recession in the US and acute debt problems in the euro zone gripped investors the world over, pulling down the BSE benchmark Sensex by 891 points during the week under review to 14-month low of 17,305.87. In addition, the market sentiment remained weak on worries over likely slowdown in corporate earnings due to higher interest rates. Investors have been selling stocks since RBI hiked its key interest rates last week for the 11th time since March, 2010, to tame stubbornly high inflation. Worries over global economies going into the slow mode added to investor woes the world over.Asian stocks tumbled after a meltdown on Wall Street, triggered by concerns that the US economy might slip into recession.All the 13 sectoral indices recorded major losses with stocks of IT, metals, realty, financial, oil and gas, and capital goods sector leading the fall.The 30-share BSE index plummeted by 891.33 points, or 4.90 %, to finish the week at 17,305.87, the level last seen on June 10, last year. It is also the biggest weekly point-wise fall since the last week of October 2009, when it had tumbled by 914.53 points, or 5.44 %.Similarly, The broad-based NSE 50-issue Nifty plunged 270.75 points, or 4.94 %, to end at 5,211.25 — the level not seen since June 14, 2010, when it had closed at 5,197.70.Selling by foreign institutional investors also spooked the market.From the 30 share Sensex pack, 28 stocks fell and only 2 rose during the week.Auto shares fell on Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement that the government may look at charging higher diesel prices for luxury cars and commercial users to ensure they don’t benefit from a policy designed to help the needy.Among the major indices the BSE-Realty fell by 7.47 %, followed by the BSE-Metal (6.81 %), the BSE-IT (6.45 %), the BSE-Capital Goods (5.52 %), the BSE-Consumer Durable (5.36 %), the BSE-Auto (5.09 %) and the Bankex (4.94 %).Sterlite Industries slumped 11.35 % to Rs 141.75 and was the top loser from the Sensex pack. The stock hit a 52-week low of Rs 138.Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) lost 4.36 % to Rs 791.65. The stock hit a 52-week low of Rs 778.55 on Friday.Other losers were Reliance Communications (9.30 %), DLF (8.94 %), M&M (8.80 %), Jaiprakash Associates (8.77 %), Jindal Steel (7.56 %),ICICI Bank (6.90 %), TCS (6.85 %), BHEL (6.65 %), Infosys (6.37 %), Tata Motors (6.11 %) and ITC (5.66 %).However, ONGC gained by 2.77 % and was the top gainer from the Sensex pack, while Cipla added 0.17 %.The total turnover at BSE and NSE fell to Rs 13,786.23 cr and Rs 55,270.44 cr, respectively, from the last weekend’s level Rs 14,429.50 cr and Rs 62,897.84 cr.
Extending its slide into the third consecutive day, the Sensex fell by another 247 points to 17,693.18 on Thursday. Further pick-up in food inflation and below-normal monsoon rains also unnerved investors, who were, last week, spooked by a steep 50 basis points rate increase by the central bank. Real estate, auto, RIL and tobacco shares were the biggest losers of the day.In straight three days, the Sensex has tumbled by 621.15 points or 3.39 per cent. Since July 26 when the apex bank hiked interest rates, the index has lost 1,178 points or 6.24 per cent.Reliance Industries reversed early gains and fell 1.53 per cent to Rs 812.50, its lowest close in more than two years. Slowing gas output has been a worry for the country’s most-valuable firm and the stock has underperformed the broader market this year.Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL, said, “Traders and investors continued to be jittery as GDP growth forecast has been scaled down.”
“Globally, the US has managed to avert a default but worries prevail over a possible downgrade. The debt crisis continues to hound the eurozone. Friday’s US jobs data will be on global investors’ radar for fresh cues on the state of the world’s largest economy,” he said.Shares of tobacco companies also fell on reports that the government might consider a possible hike in excise duty on tobacco products as part of efforts to increase its revenue collection.This led to shares of ITC falling by 3.2 per cent to Rs 200, while Godfrey Phillips India slumped 2.2 per cent to Rs 3,160.