Sensex sheds nearly 300 points as rupee tumbles

Mumbai, Aug 19 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Monday tanked 291 points or 1.56 percent as the rupee tumbled to another record low despite series of measures taken last week to arrest further depreciation.

The rupee hit a new record low of 63.22 against a dollar, surpassing the previous low of 62.03 hit Friday.

Selling pressure was observed in banking index (bankex), auto, healthcare, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), public sector undertakings (PSU), consumer durables, capital goods and oil and gas sectors; however, metal sectors showed good buying trend.

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,587.38 points, closed at 18,307.52 points, down 290.66 points or 1.56 percent from its previous day close at 18,598.18 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 18,587.38 points and a low of 18,139.15 points intra-day.

The S&P BSE bankex plunged by 367.48 points, auto index tanked by 332.13 points, healthcare index plummeted by 223.55 points, FMCG index slid by 133.68 points, PSU index dropped by 105.73 points, consumer durables index dipped by 120.79 points, capital goods index went down by 139.47 points and oil and gas index slipped by 112.39 points.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed trade 93.10 points or 1.69 percent down at 5,414.75 points.

Major Sensex gainers were: Tata Steel, up 5 percent at Rs.246.85; Hindalco Industries, up 2.89 percent at Rs.96; and Jindal Steel, up 2.86 percent at Rs.219.20.

Major Sensex losers were: Bharti Airtel, down 5.51 percent at Rs.317.35; ICICI Bank, down 5.07 percent at Rs.815.10; Bajaj Auto, down 4.55 percent at Rs.1762.30; Sun Pharma, down 4.05 percent at Rs.520.05; Tata Motors, down 3.77 percent at Rs.301.60; and ONGC, down 3.73 percent at Rs.261.75.

Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 0.79 percent up, while China's Shanghai Composite Index went up by 0.83 percent. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.24 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.35 percent down, Germany's DAX Index was down 0.28 percent and the French CAC 40 Index was down by 0.69 percent.

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