The Sensex on Wednesday plunged by another 216 points to close at a three-week low below the 32,000-mark on growing sense of disquiet following Sebi crackdown against suspected shell companies and rising geopolitical concerns after the US and North Korea exchanged threats.
However, amid indications that the Sebi might relax Tuesday’s order against shell companies, the Sensex recovered partially before settling down 216.35 points, or 0.68 per cent, at 31,797.84 — its lowest closing since July 18. The index has now lost 527.57 points in three sessions. The NSE Nifty also remained under pressure and was down 70.50 points, or 0.71 per cent, to close at 9,908.05. Intra-day, it cracked below the 9,900-mark to touch 9,893.05.
After the regulator Sebi clamped down on 331 such firms on Monday, directing exchanges to take action against them, some of the companies approached the Securities Appellate Tribunal against the order. Investors also ran for cover after a flare-up in tension between the US and North Korea over the latter’s ballistic missile programme hit the sentiment.
Dealers said selling pressure built up following muted June quarter earnings by some companies. It was so strong that all the sectoral indices, led by healthcare and auto ended in the negative zone. “Global headwinds owing ..provided more cues to the domestic market which is already reeling under Sebi’s regulatory pressure, to extend its consolidation…,” said an analyst. The rupee retreated sharply by 21 paise to end at 63.84 against the American currency due to fresh demand for the greenback from importers and banks.