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Sensex takes a beating

Mumbai, Jan. 24: The BSE benchmark Sensex today snapped its four-day winning streak by falling 240.10 points from a record high to close at a one-week low of 21133.5. RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s comments on inflation, which dashed hopes of a rate cut in next week’s monetary policy review, led to the fall.

A plunge in rupee value also hit investor sentiment. Traders said weak global cues because of poor Chinese manufacturing data put pressure on markets.

The 30-share barometer resumed weak and was in the negative territory for the entire day. The key index settled at 21133.56, a fall of 240.10 points, or 1.12 per cent, recording the biggest drop in more than three weeks. On January 2, it had declined 252 points.

Jignesh Chaudhary, head of research, Veracity Broking Services, said, “Equity markets traded in the red today after closing at an all-time high yesterday, eroding maximum of their gains accumulated over the last four trading sessions.”

In the previous four days, the Sensex had gained 310 points to set new closing peaks on rate-cut hopes after wholesale and retail inflation softened. The index rose 87 points to an all-time high of 21337.67 yesterday.

Brokers said Rajan's comment that inflation was a ”destructive disease” killed rate cut hopes. Rupee weakness also added to worries of investors who pressed the selling button, they added.

BHEL at 3.39 per cent was the biggest Sensex loser, followed by Tata Steel at 3.26 per cent. Tata Motors was down 3.26 per cent and Sesa Sterlite 2.92 per cent.

SBI, ICICI Bank and HDFC lost 2.12 per cent, 1.96 per cent and 1.31 per cent, respectively. Martui Suzuki (1.25 per cent), Cipla (1.08 per cent) and Sun Pharma (1 per cent) were other big losers.

All the 12 sectoral indices closed with losses in the range of 0.28 per cent and 3.19 per cent. Interest rate sensitive realty, banking and auto ended lower by 3.19 per cent, banking 1.88 per cent and auto 1.57 per cent in that order.

 
 
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