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Sensex falls to 10-week low, sheds 142 pts

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark shed 142 points, amid massive sell-off in realty and financial stocks triggered by the home financing racket.

twitter-logo PTI   Mumbai     Last Updated: November 25, 2010  | 19:16 IST

Continuing its losses for the third straight session, the stock market on Thursday hit a 10-week low with the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex shedding 142 points, amid massive sell-off in realty and financial stocks triggered by the home financing racket.

Sensex has shed 639 points or 3.2 per cent in the last three trading sessions.

Despite starting the day with a gain of over 100 points, Sensex finally settled with a loss of 141.69 points, or 0.73 per cent at 19,318.16, in a volatile session. The barometer had last closed near this level on September 14.

Similarly, the National Stock Exchange wide based index Nifty could not sustain the momentum after opening firm and declined by 66 points to close at 5799.75.

Marketmen said jittery investors preferred being on the sidelines on the day of Futures & Options (F&O) expiry, primarily due to continuous flow of negative news.

"Investor confidence has shaken with the ongoing housing (finance) and 2G spectrum scams. Easing food inflation data failed to enthuse investors as, today was F&O expiry due to which they preferred staying away from the market," Religare Securities Executive vice president Rajesh Jain said.

Among the 13 sectoral indices, realty bore the biggest brunt of the multi-crore housing loan scam. Realty giants JP Associates witnessed a plunge of 5.19 per cent to close at Rs 115, while DLF ended at Rs 292.75, shedding 4.13 per cent.

However, banking counters were mixed today with the private sector lender ICICI Bank and the country's largest lender SBI slipping by 0.70 per cent and 0.98 per cent respectively. HDFC Bank gained 1.17 per cent.

Investment bank Money Matters Financial Services, which has allegedly bribed senior officials of public sector financial institutions for procuring loan for corporates, nosedived by 20 per cent for the second consecutive session, hitting a lower circuit on BSE.

Of the 30 Sensex components, 23 ended the day in the red while the rest settled in green. IT bellwether Infosys surged the most. The scrip rose by 2.09 per cent to close at Rs 3,063.70.

Apart from Infosys, the software major TCS came to the rescue of the market and ended with a smart gain of 1.32 per cent. Wipro, however, bucked the trend to end in red, shedding 0.06 per cent from previous close.

"The weakness in the rupee which is at an almost 2-month low is giving strength to the IT stocks," Jain said.

Intense selling in the heavy weights including Reliance Industries and Larsen & Toubro, contributed the most in the Sensex fall. While the former slumped by 1.39 per cent, the latter saw a decline of 3.48 per cent. .

"Negative news flow from the domestic and global markets have dampened the FII sentiment, who are pulling their money out from the blue chips," Globe Capital PMS Head KK Mittal said.

Metal counters also witnessed a meltdown with most of the stocks ending in the negative terrain. Among the major losers were -- Jindal Steel (2.31 per cent), Hindalco (2.07 per cent), Tata Steel (1.99 per cent) and Sterlite Industries (1.68 per cent).

Indian bourses performed the worst in Asia as China's benchmark Shanghai and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended with gains of 1.34 per cent and 0.13 per cent respectively.

European markets, however, were trading mixed in the afternoon session.

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