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Sensex breaches 3,000 as 98 scrips crumble


Our Bureau

MUMBAI, Sept. 13

NERVOUSNESS continued to grip the equity markets for the second consecutive day after unprecedented terrorist attacks on high-profile targets in the US on Tuesday morning. Local benchmark indices plunged further on the back of large-scale selling by the retail and foreign institutional investors (FIIs). Major Asian equity markets showed mixed trend.

At the BSE, 98 stocks touched 52-week lows. Few of the more prominent stocks that slumped to record lows were State Bank of India, Engineers India, Aptech, Mukta Arts, Sterlite Opticals, EmphasiS BFL, Tata Telecom, Mahindra & Mahindra, MICO, Tata Tea, IP CL, E. Merck, NIIT and Bharat Earth Movers.

The BSE-30 shares sensitive index (Sensex) breached the 3,000 mark, for the first time since December 1998, to close at new low of 2,987.50, losing 45.21 points, or 1.49 per cent from the last close. At NSE, the S&P CNX Nifty dropped 10.50 points, or one per cent from previous close. Almost all the sectoral indices were marked down.

The Japanese benchmark Nikkei-225 was almost flat gaining 2.99 points to close at 9613. Hang Sang Index was up 75 points to 9,569. Singapore Straits Times Index closed marginally lower 12 points to 1438. Kuala Lumpur (KLSE) index shed 26 points to close at 664.

Back home, stock prices, which opened with an upward gap from the previous close, continued to tank and many bluechips hit new yearly lows even as the rupee sank further against the greenback.

FIIs are reported to be net sellers of Indian equities worth over Rs 84 crore on Wednesday while gross sales were much higher. Local funds remained net buyers.

Stocks opened with an upward gap indicating that worst might have been over. The temporary circuit filters imposed by SEBI on Wednesday remain in force. But panic continued in anticipation of ``how the US markets are likely to behave when they resume aft er two days,'' dealers said. NYSE and Nasdaq were closed for two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) and were expected to resume on Thursday.

Pharmaceuticals and oil stocks helped indices recover initially but could not sustain ground. The trading volumes improved moderately indicating increased participation.

Related links:
SEBI narrows filters to check volatility
Sensex feels tremors of US attacks; drops 117 points

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