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Markets still in correction mode

Mumbai, Sept. 15: The phase of correction that many predicted at the height of the stock rally continued today, sending the BSE sensex into a 112-point plunge and extending its losing streak to three days.

An across-the-board selloff in shares, especially those of public sector companies, pounded the 30-share index below 4193.83 points. Hindustan Petroleum was savaged in the selling fury, losing Rs 33.85 to end at Rs 390.36.

Operators who had piled up HPCL shares unwound after the government put the privatisation of National Fertilisers on the back-burner for two years. The move cast a shadow on the planned disinvestment in the petroleum major, ahead of the polls in four states after two months.

“There is some amount of profit booking and an equal dose of loss booking,” said Venkatesh Iyer, a director at R. K. Chari Stock Broking, a BSE brokerage. Arun Kejriwal of Kejriwal Securities had warned about a correction, but was today taken aback at its swiftness. “It has come faster than you and I could imagine.”

Dealers said the wave of selling coincided with slower FII inflows. Foreign investors booked profits worth Rs 90 crore on Thursday, the first day of net outflows this month, heightening fears of a wider meltdown. Today, however, they were net investors of Rs 76.1 crore.

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