BSE Sensex hits 1-1/2-mth closing low as banks, Cipla shares plunge, NSE Nifty down by 20


Hit by weak GDP growth estimates, the Sensex today fell by 59.40 points to close at one-and-a-half month low of 19,580.32, completing six days of losses the longest string since November.

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) sensitive index resumed lower at 19,589.44 and hovered in a range of 19,702.56 and 19,540.08 before concluding the day at the calender year's low of 19,580.32 -- a fall of 59.40 points or 0.30 per cent.

It has now lost 425 points in six sessions. During November 9-16, it had fallen for five straight sessions.

The NSE 50-share Nifty today ended lower by 20.40 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 5,938.80.

Shares of consumer durables, realty, power, metal and capital goods declined sharply as these indices declined between 1.12 percent and 3.34 per cent.

Sterlite Ind with 2.92 per cent losses led the 18 Sensex losers, followed by NTPC, Cipla, Bharti Airtel and Tata Power.

However, rise in TCS, M&M, Tata Motors, Infosys and HDFC restricted the fall to some extent.

"A weaker than expected GDP number at 5 per cent disappointed the market sentiment and led to selling pressure across all major sectors," said Nidhi Sarswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.

Earlier today, Central Statistics Office said country's economic growth rate this fiscal is estimated to be sharply lower at 5 per cent as against 6.2 per cent last year.

According to the Finance Ministry, CSO's economic growth projection of 5 per cent "is below expectations" and the government will continue efforts to revive the economy.

"Benchmark indices may turn volatile in the coming days amid various economic data points to be announced. The IIP numbers will be announced next week," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.

Asian stocks, barring Taiwan that ended up, closed mostly lower following mixed cues from Wall Street and ahead of European Central Bank's policy decision later today.

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