Sensex dips below 16k

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday ended at 15,948.10 points, its lowest closing since January 7, due to hectic selling by funds as the rupee tumbled to yet another all-time low of 56.19 against the dollar amid weak global trends.

The 30-share index, which had lost nearly 157 points on Tuesday, fell further by 78.31 points or 0.49 per cent to fall below the psychological 16,000 mark as investors became jittery as rupee dropped to an all-time low for the sixth straight session.

Bharti Airtel which shed 4.04 per cent was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, followed by Tata Power (2.27 pc), Jindal Steel (1.85 pc), Hero MotoCorp (1.76 pc) and Sterlite Industries (1.62 pc). As many as 20 scrips in Sensex ended with losses. The 50-scrip National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell 24.85 points, or 0.51 per cent to 4,835.65 led by consumer durables, capital goods and realty stocks.

Brokers said selling pressure gathered momentum as rupee touched fresh record low levels renewing concerns over slowing economic growth and widening trade deficit. The free-fall in rupee was unabated on strong demand for American currency from importers and increased capital outflow from equity markets, even as the Reserve Bank measures failed to curb the persistent fall, forex dealers said. Market participants also said Indian stocks got another jolt following weakening trend in global markets as concern grew that Greece may leave the Eurozone soon.