The BSE benchmark Sensex today ended below 16,000-level for the first time in more than four months and the rupee breached the crucial 56-mark to a new low with investors exiting risky assets in view of turmoil in Europe as reports strengthened chances of Greece exit from Eurozone.
The 30-share Sensex resumed below 16,000-level and dropped further to a day’s low of 15,847.03 as foreign funds showed a lack of confidence as rupee plunged below the 56-level. The index finally closed at 15,948.10,a loss of 78.31 points or 0.49 per cent from its last close.
Stocks across Europe and Asia tumbled amid euro hitting 20-month low as investors doubted whether the 27-national block European Union would be able to find a solution for the mounting debt crisis. Their fears were further intensified after reports said former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos suggested such a euro exit could be approaching.
With a bout of global risk-aversion setting in,foreign funds continued to pull out dollars from India pulling rupee further to touch a new low of 56.22. In the past two sessions,the domestic currency has lost nearly 100 paise as unabated fund flows continued.
“Rupee breached the key psychological level of 56. Macroeconomic worries arising from the country’s high fiscal and current account deficits,sharply falling rupee against the dollar and slowing economic growth hurt investor sentiment adversely. Eurozone debt worries also weighed on investor sentiment,” said Sharmila Joshi,Head Equity,Fairwealth Securities.
Bharti Airtel which shed 4.04 per cent was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack,followed by Tata Power (2.27 pc),Jindal Steel (1.85 pc) and Hero MotoCorp (1.76 pc). As many as 20 scrips in Sensex ended with losses. Investors were poorer by over Rs 25,000 crore across the markets.
“Markets were also waiting for the outcome of the informal EU summit later in the day. Continuing concerns about the outcome and the potential impact on Greece,weighed on sentiments,” said Dipen Shah,Head – Fundamental Research,Kotak Securities.
Earlier today,Asian stocks ended lower ahead of the meeting of European leaders. Key benchmark indices in Singapore,Japan,China,Taiwan,South Korea and Hong Kong finished lower up to 2 per cent.
European stocks were also trading lower in their early trade. Key indices in France,Germany and London were down between 1.83 per cent and 2.03 per cent.
Major losers from the Sensex pack were Bharti Airtel (4.29 pc),Tata Power (1.99 pc),Hero Motocorp (1.86 pc),Jindal Steel (1.84 pc),Sterlite (1.51 pc),Bajaj Auto (1.37 pc),HDFC (1.22 pc),Tata Motors (1.19 pc),DLF (1.18 pc),L&T (1.18 pc) and Sun Pharma (1.01 pc).
However,winners were led by Gail India that rose by 3.19 per cent,Wipro (1.15 per cent) and State Bank Of India (0.93 per cent).
Among the sectoral indices,the BSE-Consumer Durable fell by 2.08 per cent,followed by the BSE-Capital Goods (0.89 pc),the BSE-Realty (0.86 pc),the BSE-Metal (0.72 pc) and the BSE-Auto (0.68 pc).
“Investor morale,business confidence and consumer sentiment are all pretty low. It will be a while before things start looking up. So brace for more uncertainty and volatility in the near term,” said Amar Ambani,Head of Research,IIFL.
The market breadth continued to remain negative as 1,618 scrips finished with losses while 1,095 ended with gains.
The total turnover declined marginally to Rs 1,821.04 crore from Rs 1,854.65 crore previously.