Sensex slides down by 163 points

Mumbai: After a day of gains, the BSE Sensex slid back to fresh 2-year low of 15,695.43 on selling in key stocks amid weak global markets on persisting investor worries over euro-zone debt troubles and slow growth in world`s leading economies.

IT, metals, tech, refinery and auto segments suffered heavily, but gains in realty and capital goods stocks cushioned the fall somewhat. Retail stocks gained as the government approved FDI in multi-brand retail. The BSE 30-scrip Sensex opened lower but recovered, touching a high of 15,891.05. However, it fell back following weak openings in the European markets and settled at 15,695.43 — down 163.06 points or 1.03 per cent. Yesterday, it had gained by 158.52 points or 1.01 per cent. On Wednesday, it had closed at 15,699.97 – lowest since November 3, 2009.

The NSE wide-based 50-issue Nifty also dropped 46.40 points or 0.98 per cent to 4,710.05. "Global negative cues led to a gap down opening in the market. However, sentiments were bolstered by some policy reforms announced yesterday evening like FDI in retail segment and cabinet approval of the companies bill," said Shanu Goel, Senior Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio. "But, selling pressure intensified during the last one hour of trade. Weak opening in European markets further aided the downtrend," she added.

Besides, offloading by foreign funds fanned the sluggish trend. FIIs have pulled out Rs 5,395.90 crore (over USD 1 billion) in the last eight trading sessions since November 15, including yesterday`s Rs 1,106.40 sell-off as per Sebi data. Dip in RIL, Infosys, HDFC, TCS, ICICI, HUL, Hero MotoCorp and Maruti Suzuki kept the market under pressure. However, rise in L&T, SBI, BHEL, Coal India and DLF cushioned the fall to some extent.