Mumbai: Pressure from heavy selling saw the Sensex dropped 189.91 points to 12,507 at 2 pm today as technology and cement stocks continue to perform poorly.
The S&P/CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange was reduced by 61.65 points to 3,594.
Among large-capitalization stocks, Infosys Technologies Ltd, the nation’s second-largest software exporter, was down by Rs50.05 to Rs2,066.25. Reliance Industries Ltd, the nation’s largest non-state refiner, slide Rs26.60 to Rs1,272.80. The two stocks account for about a fifth of the Sensex’s weight.
ICICI Bank Ltd, the nation’s second-largest lender, dropped Rs20.60 to Rs831.
Overseas funds sold a net Rs3.13 billion worth of stocks on 5 March, according to the latest information on the Securities & Exchange Board of India’s Web site.
Shares of cement companies saw red after the government told cement companies not to increase prices due to the higher excise duties imposed on these companies
Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said yesterday he will hold meetings with other officials in his ministry to ensure there is “no profiteering” by cement makers.
While the government can’t ask cement companies not to pass on the increase in levy, it is trying to find a “way out” of the situation, he told reporters in New Delhi.
Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, in his 28 February budget, increased the excise rate by 50% to Rs600 a ton for cement sold at Rs190 or more for a 50-kilogram bag.
ACC Ltd, the country’s largest cement maker, fell Rs49.35 to Rs805.05. Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd, the fourth largest cement maker, slid Rs9.80 to Rs104.
Mindtree Consulting Ltd climbed Rs200 to Rs625. The Indian software and research and development services provider sold 5.59 million shares at Rs425 apiece, raising about Rs2.4 billion.