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Rediff.com  » Business » Market heads south, Sensex loses 340 points

Market heads south, Sensex loses 340 points

Last updated on: November 21, 2013 16:27 IST

Fed minutes, China data trip market to 2-month lows

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Manu Kaushik in Mumbai

Markets world over plunged after minutes of US Federal Reserve's last meeting were made public late Wednesday. Investor sentiment was hit adversely after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting signaled US stimulus may be reduced in coming months.

The US central bank currently buys bonds worth $85-billion-a-month in a bid to hold interest rates low and encourage economic growth in the world's biggest economy.

Last week, the sentiment was boosted after US Federal Reserve's incoming boss Janet Yellen, said the US economy and labour markets were functioning “far short of their potential and had to improve before the stimulus programme could be rolled back".

According to some this aberration from earlier stance signals a duality in Fed's stance on tapering.

Experts are of the view that market participants are reading far too much into the Fed minutes as they offer nothing new and merely talk of an impending taper, which is bound to happen sooner or later.

Key benchmark indices continued heading southwards since the start weighed down by financials, capital goods and IT shares.

The 30-share BSE Sensex closed at 20,229 down over 406 points while the 50-share Nifty index gave up 123 points to close at 5,999 levels.

Broader markets cracked too with small-cap and mid-cap indices falling between 0.9-1.2% on the BSE.

The rupee falls to 62.88 versus its previous close of 62.57/58, after earlier hitting a session high of 62.97.

Downbeat China manufacturing activity greatly added to gloom in most Asian stock markets on Thursday, while emerging market currencies faltered as the dollar charged ahead after the US Federal Reserve's latest minutes hinted at stimulus tapering.

European markets too are lower today with stocks in France off the most.

The CAC 40 is down 0.83% while Germany's DAX is off 0.42% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.06%.
 
Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices.

The Nikkei 225 gained 1.92%, while the Hang Seng led the Shanghai Composite lower.

They fell 0.51% and 0.04% respectively.

Japan's Nikkei stock average bucked the region as yen weakened against the dollar and on plans by a major government fund to invest more of its $2 trillion funds in riskier assets.

Back home, all sectors closed in red with BSE bankex leading the fall in sectoral indices; followed by capital goods, realty, Power and PSUs indices.

Top Sensex losers were ITC, HDFC, Reliance, Infosys, ICICI Bank and L&T.

The market breadth in BSE remains weak with 1551 shares declining and 922 shares advancing on BSE.


Image: Bombay Stock Exchange.
Photographs: Reuters

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