Sensex sheds 271 points

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MUMBAI: Weighed down by weak global cues, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index, Sensex, on Thursday plunged 271 points on all-round selling, almost washing out the stupendous gains it notched up on Wednesday.

Tracking weak Asian markets, the 30-share barometer opened 79 points down and continued to decline on emergence of heavy selling across the board. Remaining in the red throughout the day, it finally settled at 16224.95, falling steeply by 271.10 points or 1.64 per cent over the previous close. On Monday, the Sensex made an unexpected rally, best in the past six weeks, notching 332.61 points or 2.06 per cent.

Marketmen and analysts said coupled with weak global sentiment the market was worried that the rising inflation might force the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to unleash more monetary tightening measures. Food inflation for the week ended January 23 marginally rose to 17.56 per cent from 17.40 in the preceding week. As a result, the highly interest-rate sensitive realty counter was the worst hit with a 3.89 per cent fall. The second biggest loser was the metals counter which fell 3.36 per cent. The metal index rallied the most on Wednesday. The IT and auto stocks too bore the brunt of profit-booking.

Marketmen said, had it not been for the oil counter, which rose dramatically on Thursday following the Parikh panel report calling for freeing fuel prices, the market would have crashed badly.

Rupee loses 28 paise

The rupee fell by 28 paise to 46.25/26 against the U.S. dollar, weighed down by expectations of higher capital inflows after the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index tumbled by 271 points on all-round selling on Thursday. It closed at 45.98 on Wednesday. Forex dealers said the rupee lost ground after two sessions of gains on bearish trend in equities. Also, they said the dollar that bounced back heading towards its highest levels since last summer versus the euro dragged down other currencies. — PTI



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