Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex on Thursday dipped by another 153 points due to weak industrial growth and sluggish Asian as well as European markets despite the fall in inflation.
Belying all projections and the optimism following two stimulus packages, the index of industrial production (IIP) declined by 2% in December, but the government was confident that the January numbers would improve. The IIP had contracted for the first time in 15 years in October 2008.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer remained in negative terrain throughout the day and ended at 9,465.83, a net loss of 152.71 points or 1.59% from its last close.
For the first nine months of the current fiscal, growth stood at 3.2% against 9% a year ago, affecting market sentiment.
The fall in the Sensex could be gauged from sharp to moderate declines at IT, refinery and capital goods counters.
The broader 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also moved down further by 32.65 points or 1.12%, to 2,893.05 from its previous close.
Though Wall Street ended firm on 11 February after lawmakers reached a compromise deal on a stimulus package to revive the faltering economy, Asian indices ended in the red with a fall of 0.56% to 3.03% on doubts over the effectiveness of the US rescue plan.
Reduction in fuel prices and cheaper food items like tea and edible oils pulled down inflation to a year’s low of 4.39% during the weekend 31 January from 5.07% a week ago.
Among major losers from the Sensex pack, Jaiprakash Associates declined 4.76%, Ranbaxy by 3.82%, Bharti Airtel by 3.52%, Infosys Tech by 3.39%, ICICI Bank by 3.24% and Maruti Suzuki by 2.99%.
However, Mahindra and Mahindra rose by 6.86%, DLF by 3.58% and Rel Infra by 1.57%.
Contrary to general trends, some realty and auto counters attracted good buying. The market is now awaiting the outcome of the interim budget, to be presented on 16 February.
Although the index ended in the red, buying in small-cap and mid-cap counters helped the market breadth remain positive with 1,309 counters scoring gains against 1,090 losses at close on the BSE.
The trading volume was relatively low at Rs3,212.26 crore from Rs3,280.70 crore on Wednesday. United Spirits was the top-traded share with the highest turnover of Rs251.09 crore, followed by RIL (Rs187.70 crore), Educomp Sol (Rs153.79 crore) and Rel Infra (Rs132.11 crore).