Sensex down by 222 pts

Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex was down by 222 points in early trade today as investors abandoned IT, oil and gas, metal, banking and power stocks amid panic selling in Asian markets on concerns over the health of the US economy.

The BSE benchmark Sensex resumed lower at 16,678.34 and dropped further to 16,595.98 before quoting at 16,599.66 at 1015 hours, a net loss of 221.80 points, or 1.32 per cent, vis-a-vis last weekend`s level.

The NSE 50-share Nifty Index also fell by 60.25 points, or 1.20 per cent, to 4,979.75 at 1015 hours.

The major losers in early trade were Infosys (2.57 per cent), Hindalco (2.53 per cent), Reliance Industries (2.43 per cent), DLF (2.21 per cent), Sterlite Industries (2.17 per cent) and ICICI Bank (2.10 per cent).

Asian stocks sank in early trade as financial stocks and export-oriented firms registered heavy losses after a disappointing US jobs report last Friday inflamed concerns about the health of the global economy.

The key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China were down by between 1.53 per cent and 2.8 per cent.

US stocks tumbled by 2.20 per cent on Friday after a report showed that the world`s largest economy failed to add any new jobs in August.

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