Sensex tanks 233 points, at lowest level since April

Mumbai, June 24 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Monday closed 1.24 percent or 233 points down to its lowest level since April following negative global cues.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,714.06 points, closed at 18,540.89 points, down 1.24 percent or 233.35 points from its previous day's close at 18,774.24 points.

Earlier, on June 20, the S&P BSE Sensex had lost 526.41 points or 2.74 percent at 18,719.29, which was then the lowest closing level since 15 April, 2013, when the market closed at 18,357.80 points.

The losses have been attributed to foreign institutional investors' continued selling after there was a record depreciation in the rupee value with the US Federal Reserve signalling an end to its bond-buying programme.

"The overriding concern was the potential withdrawal of monetary stimulus by the US Fed. With the withdrawal likely to start over the next few months, global markets have turned distinctly weak and India has been no exception," said Dipen Shah, head, group research, Kotak Securities.

"FIIs have been net sellers over the past few days and that has dented market sentiments. FII flows have been likely impacted by the rupee weakness and the lacklustre corporate earnings performance."

The Sensex Monday touched a high of 18,714.06 points and a low of 18,467.16 points.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed in negative territory. It closed down 1.37 percent or 77.40 points at 5,590.25 points.

There was heavy selling pressure in capital goods, consumer durables, bank, automobile and public sector undertaking (PSU). All 13 S&P BSE indices were down.

The S&P BSE capital goods index was down 262.81 points, consumer durables index was 220.39 points lower and the bank index was down 191.83 points. The S&P BSE automobile index tumbled 164.85 points and PSU index dipped 146.94 points.

Only six of the 30-sensitive companies gained in the day's trade. These included: Jindal Steel, up 1.44 percent at Rs.207.20; Hindalco Inds, up 0.64 percent at Rs.94.20; Tata Power, up 0.61 percent at Rs.82.10; ICICI Bank, up 0.60 percent at Rs.1,049.65; and HDFC, up 0.46 percent at Rs.825.70.

The main losers were: Sterlite Inds, down 3.91 percent at Rs.77.45; Bharti Airtel, down 3.23 percent at Rs.283.10; BHEL, down 3.02 percent at Rs.165.50; ONGC, down 2.97 percent at Rs.298.85; and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 2.80 percent at Rs.1,354.90.

Among other Asian markets, the Japanese Nikkei was down by 1.26 percent, while the Chinese Hang Seng dipped 2.22 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 5.50 percent.

The European markets too were trading in the red. While London's FTSE 100 was trading 0.99 percent down, Germany's DAX was lower by 1.14 percent and France's CAC 40 was 1.67 percent down.