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Triple trouble for stocks

Mumbai, July 12: Poor IIP numbers, muted guidance from Infosys and weak global markets pulled down equity markets today with the benchmark BSE sensex plummeting nearly 310 points to 18411.62.

The BSE IT index ended with the highest percentage loss when Infosys posted its first-quarter numbers that came a tad below analysts’ estimates.

The Bangalore-based company also forecast over 4 per cent sequential growth in its topline in rupee terms, lower than analyst estimate of 5-6 per cent.

The Infosys stock took a hit as a result of the muted guidance and ended 4.27 per cent lower at Rs 2,794.25. Its peers saw selling on fears that the business environment for the sector continued to remain challenging. Tata Consultancy Services lost less than a per cent to end at Rs 1,146.75, while Wipro ended 1.36 per cent lower at Rs 414.70.

The sluggish industrial output numbers also disappointed observers.

Industrial growth fell to 5.6 per cent in May, sharply lower than the consensus figure of 8.5 per cent.

Fresh worries that the European debt crisis will spread to Italy also weighed on investors. These fears resulted in the Hang Seng index slipping nearly 2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite Index finishing 1.7 per cent lower.

“The Indian stocks succumbed to the pressures from the global markets and the IIP numbers, which were much below the estimates,” Anand Kuchelan, vice-president (research) of Padmakshi Financial Services, said.

The sensex, which had lost 356 points in the last two trading sessions, resumed with a downside gap at 18534.11. It fell further to a low of 18326.42 before ending the day at 18411.62, down 309.77 points, or 1.65 per cent, a level last seen on June 27.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell 89.95 points to 5526.15, after dipping below the 5500-level to 5496.95 during the session.

Apart from Infosys, other heavyweights such as L&T, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, M&M, the SBI, Reliance and ICICI Bank also came under selling pressure.

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