Sensex slumps nearly 350 points to new 3-week low
Mumbai: The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Monday tumbled 347.5 points to a new three-week low amid jittery global markets and expectations of weak June quarter current account deficit data.
Heavyweights ITC, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries dragged the Sensex lower. Capital goods, bank, metal and realty stocks fell on the BSE as 12 of the 13 sectoral indices ended down.
The 30-share Sensex resumed lower in line with weak Asian cues and gradually declined to settle at 19,379.77, a fall of 347.50 points or 1.76 percent. Last Friday, it had dipped 166.58 points or 0.84 percent.
The index is at the lowest level since September 6, when it closed at 19,270.06. However, the Sensex, which gained 760.05 points or 4.08 percent in September, posted the best monthly gain since November 2012, when it rose 834.52 points or 4.51 percent.
The broader CNX Nifty index on the National Stock Exchange dropped 97.90 points, or 1.68 percent, to 5,735.30. The SX40 index on the MCX Stock Exchange ended at 11,566.65, a drop of 174.19 points or 1.48 percent.
"Investors were seen cautious ahead of current account deficit (CAD) data for June quarter," said Nidhi Saraswat, senior research analyst at Bonanza Portfolio Ltd. "Global markets were also trading lower and further weakened market sentiment."
After the markets closed for the day, government data showed the current account deficit widened to 4.9 percent of GDP in the April-June quarter.
Asian stocks were mostly down amid concerns over a budgetary impasse in the US. European markets were also affected as reports said Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta had called a parliamentary vote of confidence on Wednesday.
The mood in the local stock market was also affected by provisional data from the stock exchanges that showed foreign funds sold a net Rs 244.95 crore of shares on Friday.
Barring China, most Asian stocks closed with losses.
European markets also were weak in early deals.
In the domestic market, 25 Sensex shares fell, led by Tata Steel (5.65 percent), BHEL (4.58 percent), ICICI Bank (4.15 percent), Coal India (3.92 percent) and L&T (3.53 percent).
However, Hindustan Unilever rose 1.6 percent and Sun Pharma 0.47 percent.
Among the sectoral indices, S&P BSE-Capital Goods dropped 2.92 percent, followed by S&P BSE-Bankex 2.84 percent, S&P BSE-Metal 2.44 percent, S&P BSE-Realty 2.09 percent and S&P BSE-PSU 2.09 percent.
The market breadth remained negative as 1,407 stocks ended lower, 877 stocks gained and 136 were unchanged.