Sensex plunges 378 points; banking stocks down

A benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), plunged 378 points or 1.28 percent in Monday’s afternoon trade session as banking, capital goods and information technology (IT) stocks plummeted.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading with heavy losses. It was down 119.10 points or 1.33 percent at 8,818.65 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 29,316.54 points, was trading at 29,070.01 points (at 12.15 p.m.), down 378.03 points or 1.28 percent from the previous day’s close at 29,448.95 points.

The Sensex had touched a high of 29,321.06 points and a low of 29,017.01 points in trade so far.

All sector-based indices of the BSE were trading in red except for healthcare.

Banking, capital goods, IT, technology, entertainment and media (TECK) and consumer durables stocks came under heavy selling pressure.

The BSE S&P Bank index was down 440.25 points, followed by capital goods index which was lower by 241.75 points, IT index plunged 205.83 points, TECK index declined by 98.82 points and consumer durables index fell 69.50 points.

However, the BSE S&P healthcare index was up 83.13 points.

According to market analyst, the Indian markets have reacted negatively to the sharp increase in the US non-farm payroll data for January.

The US non-farm payrolls rose 295,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent in January 2014.

The Indian markets were anxious as rapid increases in non-farm payroll data might lead to an increase in inflation.

This can make the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner than previously expected. With higher interest rates, foreign institutional investors will be led away from emerging markets such as India.

“In the coming week the Indian market will be cautious as the US non-farm payroll data has gone up rapidly. This might lead to a sooner than expected interest rate rise in the US,” Devendra Nevgi, chief executive, ZyFin Advisors, told IANS.

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