Mumbai: As the Sensex bled 541.74 points in today’s bear attack, market watchers didn’t quite know whether to rate this casualty the fourth biggest or the 64th in the 21-year history of the benchmark index.
Today’s fall was the fourth biggest in terms of absolute value, but it did not figure even in the top 60 when considered in the percentage terms, which some observers said should be given preference as it takes into account the current high level of the market.
A fall of this magnitude would have been a major crash a few years back, when even a 100 point dip was considered as a major concern. However, with the market trading over a level of 15,000 points in terms of the Sensex value, a fall of 100 or 200 points hardly makes a dent, said a broker.
In terms of percentage, the Sensex today fell by 3.43% points, which is the 64th biggest in its history.
While the fall of 826.38 points on May 18, 2006 is widely known as the biggest ever plunge for the Sensex, in percentage terms it was only sixth biggest at 6.76% and occurred at a time when market was trading over 12,000 level.
The biggest ever fall so far in percentage terms occurred on May 17, 2004 when the Sensex slid 11.14%. It was a fall of 564.71 points -- the third biggest in absolute value terms -- and took place when the Sensex was trading just above 5,000-points level.
The second biggest percentage fall was of 8.3% on March 31, 1997, followed by falls of 7.2% on October 5, 1998, 7.1% on April 4, 2000 and 6.9% on April 17, 1999 -- all of which took place when the market was trading below 5,000-points level.
In terms of fall in absolute value of the Sensex, the 826-points fall on May 18, 2006 is the biggest so far, followed by 616.73 points on April 2, 2007, 564.71 points on May 17, 2004, today’s fall of 541.74 points and 540.74 points on February 28, 2007.
However, only two of the ten biggest falls in absolute value terms find place in the top-ten list of biggest falls in percentage terms.
Ever since the Sensex crossed the five-figure mark of 10,000 points, just one of the single-day falls have made to the list of top-20 biggest falls in percentage terms.