Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Markets tumble on weak Asian equities

Weak Asian markets cast their shadow on the Indian bourses today. Selling pressure was witnessed in consumer durables, IT, metal and auto stocks.An unexpected contraction in the service sector in the US once again sparked fears the economy may sink into recession, hitting Asian stocks. European markets which opened after Indian markets were weak.

The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 523.67 points or 2.81% at 18,139.49.The broader CNX S&P Nifty was down 161.35 points or 2.94% at 5,322.55.

Satyam Computer Services (down 6.69% to Rs 408.90), Wipro (down 6.01% to Rs 425), Infosys (down 6.25% to Rs 1,510.60) and Tata Consultancy Services (down 5.15% to Rs 900.55) edged lower.

Metal stocks declined. Sterlite Industries (down 5.77% to Rs 788.05), National Alluminium Company (down 5.78% to Rs 389.95), Hindalco Industries (down 4.89% to Rs 173.05), Steel Authority of India (down 4.9% to Rs 221.15) and Tata Steel (down 2.24% to Rs 799.45) edged lower.

Consumer Durables stocks declined. Rajesh Exports (down 9.08% to Rs 136.60), Titan Industries (down 8.57% to Rs 1,138), Videocon Industries (down 3.69% to Rs 429.90) and Blue Star (down 1.97% to Rs 485) edged lower.

Auto stocks skidded. Maruti Suzuki India (down 4.74% to Rs 831), Tata Motors (down 1.4% to Rs 745), Bajaj Auto (down 3.08% to Rs 2,330), Mahindra & Mahindra (down 2.15% to Rs 665.95 ) and Hero Honda Motors (down 1.49% to Rs 716) edged lower.

India’s largest private sector firm by market capitalization and oil refiner Reliance Industries fell 2.44% at Rs 2,552.05. As per reports, Reliance Industries (RIL) two wells in D6 block in the Krishna Godvari (KG) basin have hit a technical snag. The loss to wells runs into about $175 million. RIL executive, however, said the snags have been rectified and that the problems would not delay production of natural gas from the D6 block.

India’s largest private sector bank by assets ICICI Bank fell 3.11% to Rs 1,152.85.
India’s largest engineering & construction firm by revenue Larsen & Toubro fell 1.93% to Rs 3,780.60.India's second largest power utility firm by revenue Reliance Energy rose 2,056.35.

Reliance Communications rose 0.68% to Rs 681.60. Reliance Communications (RCom) is reprotedly set to test-launch its direct to home (DTH) services Big TV this week, before a full commercial launch in March this year. According to reports, the company is investing $250 million in the first phase for the launch and has already placed orders for over 2 million set-top boxes to cater to the launch. The target is to get 50% share of the new customers who join the DTH club.

In Asia, key indices in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore were down by 3.5% to 5.40%. Stock markets in South Korea, Taiwan, and China were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.

European markets were weak. France’s CAC 40 (down 0.4% to 4,757.70), Germany’s DAX (down 0.36% to 6,740.65) and UK’s FTSE 100 (down 0.11% to 5,861.40) edged lower.

US stocks suffered their biggest drop in nearly a year on Tuesday, 5 February 2008, after data showed the worst monthly contraction in the services sector since the last US recession and Standard & Poor's warned it could cut bank credit ratings.

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