A benchmark index for Indian stock markets registered its steepest fall in over five months on global cues, as also worries over a host of factors such as a weakening rupee, fall in international crude prices and lack of positive domestic trigger.

The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) fell 538.12 points, or 1.97 percent, to 26,781.44 points, to log its steepest fall since July 8. The Indian rupee also fell to a 13-month low of 63.53 to a dollar on sharp rate hike by Russia and concerns over global economy.

Among the 2,957 stocks that traded on the Mumbai bourse Tuesday, as many as 2,327 ended in the red, while 547 managed to buck the trend. The prices of the remaining 89 stocks were unchanged.

Banking stocks were the worst hit, with the industry-specific index shedding as much as 9.87 percent on a single day, followed by the index for technology and oil stocks that dipped by 6.86 percent and 6.11 percent, respectively.

The benchmark index had opened in the negative, tracking the SGX Nifty and most Asian stocks.

Internationally, the european markets slipped as the factory data from China, France and Germany missed the estimates along with the sliding oil prices.

The US index futures were also trading lower. The US Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting, slated to start later Tuesday, will be in focus.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,181.18 points, closed trading at 26,781.44 points, down 538.12 points or 1.97 percent from the previous day’s close at 27,319.56 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 27,199.37 points and a low of 26,736.23 points in the intra-day trade.

“The market continued to remain under pressure during the day, because weak global cues and weak technicals,” said Alex Mathews, head research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

“The global markets were down on the Russian central bank’s move to raise its key interest rate from 10.5 percent to 17 percent to arrest the fall in the rouble along with Chinese manufacturing PMI data falling to its lowest level since May.”

The S&P BSE bank index plunged 612.41 points, followed by metal index which crashed 440.74 points, healthcare index sank 408.82 points, automobile index which fell 299.08 points, capital goods index dwindled by 250.05 points, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) index dived by 247.88 points, consumer durables index which declined 227.20 points and oil and gas index dipped by 140.11 points.

However, IT index was up 167.96 points and TECK index rose by 63.13 points.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed in the red. It was down 152 points or 1.85 percent at 8,067.60 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: Tata Consultancy Services, up 3.40 percent at Rs.2,243.15; Infosys, up 0.69 percent at Rs.1,937.65; and Bharti Airtel, up 0.01 percent at Rs.350.10.

The major Sensex losers were: Sesa Sterlite, down 7.77 percent at Rs.194.05; DrReddy, down 6.32 percent at Rs.3,142.05; Hindalco Inds, down 5.67 percent at Rs.144.70; State Bank of India, down 4.66 percent at Rs.295.90; and Tata Power, down 4.59 percent at Rs.80.05.

(Posted on 16-12-2014)

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