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Weekly stock market review: BSE Sensex slumps to two-year low, loses 722 pts

At the beginning of the week, investors' sentiments were dampened due to poor economic data. The markets witnessed volatile trading in the middle of the week and fell sharply by the end on panic selling.

IANS | December 17, 2011 | Updated 16:15 IST

The Sensex slumped to over two-year low this week on continued uncertainties in domestic and global economies. The 30-scrip index of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) tumbled 4.45 per cent or 722.11 points in the weekly trade.

At the beginning of the week, investors' sentiments were dampened due to poor economic data.

The benchmark Sensex slumped 343 points on Monday, the first trading day of the week after the official data released that day showed factory output slumped to 5.1 per cent in October, sparking off fears of a further slowdown in economic growth.

The markets witnessed volatile trading in the middle of the week and fell sharply by the end of the week on panic selling.

The Sensex slumped 345.12 points, or 2.18 per cent, to close at 15,491.35 points Friday, the lowest level in 25 months.

At the National Stock Exchange, the 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty also tumbled to two year-low even though the Reserve Bank of India kept interest rates unchanged.

The Nifty closed 2 per cent or 94.75 points down at 4,651.6 points Friday.

In its mid-quarter review of the monetary policy, the Reserve Bank of India on Friday maintained the status quo on key policy rates. Banking stocks tumbled as some analysts were expecting a cut in cash reserve ratio (CRR), while the RBI decided to maintain status quo.

The central bank also indicated that it would from this point onward look at easing interest rates as inflation had started declining and was expected to moderate to 7 per cent by end-March.

Major Sensex losers Friday were: L&T, down 5.33 per cent at Rs 1,075.80; Sterlite Industries, down 4.28 per cent at Rs 89.40; NTPC, down 3.91 per cent at Rs 159.90; and BHEL, down 3.88 per cent at Rs 240.45.

Only three of the 30 Sensex scrips saw modest gains: Wipro, Maruti Suzuki and Infosys.

Most other Asian markets also closed in the red with negative sentiments gripping the bourses. A survey released on Thursday by Japan's central bank showed business sentiment dipping. Also a bond auction by Italy saw the country paying a higher rate of interest, signifying continued nervousness about the eurozone's debt woes.

The Japanese Nikkei nudged up 0.29 per cent to close at 8,401.72 points. Hong Kong's Hang Seng moved up 1.43 per cent and ended at 18,285.39 points, while the Chinese Shanghai composite index rose 2.02 per cent to close at 2,224.84 points.

European and American markets also ended the week on negative note.

Britain's FTSE 100 closed 0.25 per cent down at 5,387.34 points Friday. German DAX fell 0.50 per cent at 5,701.78 points and the French CAC 40 closed 0.88 per cent down at 2,972.30 points.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.02 per cent down at 11,866.40 points. However the S&P 500 index closed 0.32 per cent higher at 1,219.66 points on Friday.

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