Indian Equities Fall on Poor Factory Output, Oil Price

Mumbai, Mar 12 (IANS): Acute volatility marked trading in Indian equities during the week ended Friday. The market sentiments were clearly affected by political uncertainties, poor growth in factory output in India and continued concern over oil prices due to unrest in the Middle East.

The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), ended the week at 18,174.09 points, 1.69 percent or 312.36 points down from the previous week's close of 18,486.45 points.

The markets opened the week on a bearish note on concerns of political instability after the DMK, a southern partner of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), threatened to withdraw its six ministers from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's ministry on disagreement over seat-sharing for the Tamil Nadu assembly polls, slated for April 13.

Though the markets rebounded mid-week after the two parties reached seat-sharing agreement, these slumped again towards the end of the week on continued concern over oil price due to unrest in the Middle East and poor economic data.

The benchmark Sensex also slipped 0.84 percent or 153.89 points at 18,174.09 points Friday after the factory output growth fell short of estimate.

According to official data released Friday, India's factory output grew slower than expected at 3.7 percent in January compared to 2.53 percent during the previous month and 16.8 percent in the like month of last fiscal.

Another dampener for the market was a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan Friday.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty fell 0.89 percent or 48.95 points to close at 5,445.45 points Friday.

Most sectoral as well as broader market indices also ended the week in negative terrain.

Of the broader markets, both the BSE midcap and smallcap indices slumped over a percent. The BSE midcap index closed 1.07 percent down at 6,529.28 points and the BSE smallcap index fell 1.12 percent at 7,899.81 points on last trading day of the week.

There was heavy selling pressure in metal, technology, IT, power, and consumer goods products.

Markets plunged across the globe Friday after a massive earthquake hit Japan, further dampening investors' sentiments already shaken by high oil price and unrest in the Middle East.

The Japanese Nikkei slumped 1.72 percent at 10,254.40 points. A devastating earthquake hit Japan just before the close of week's trading at Tokyo stock exchange.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.55 percent at 23,249.80 points and China's Shanghai Composite index closed 0.79 percent down at 2,933.80 points Friday.


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