Sensex edges down 98 pts, logs longest losing run in 5 mths

Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex dropped for the sixth day today to record its longest losing run since June as foreign funds continued to offload shares amid weak corporate earnings and a sluggish global trend. Sentiment took a blow after a private survey showed that India’s manufacturing growth dropped to a 22-month low in October to 50.7, from 51.2 in September, said equity brokers. With today’s 97.68-point drop, the 30-share barometer has plunged around 911.66 points in the past six sessions.

The market is on a downward spiral since last Monday on sustained foreign fund outflows and weaker-than-expected earnings by some blue-chips. Falling for the sixth straight day, the broad-based NSE Nifty today went below the crucial 8,000-mark to touch a low of 7,995.60 before settling 15 points down at 8,050.80.

Mood suffered another jolt after weak Chinese manufacturing data for October fuelled worries about the health of the world’s number two economy. The 30-share BSE barometer Sensex shuttled between 26,378.26 and 26,824.30 during the day and finally ended lower by 97.68 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 26,559.15.

This is the lowest closing since October 1. In June, the BSE benchmark had fallen for six days at a stretch. With a slump of up to 4.85 per cent, Bajaj Auto was the big loser among Sensex and Nifty stocks today after the company today reported an 8.59 per cent slump in total sales in October.

Others that lagged included Hindalco, Tata Steel, Vedanta Ltd, HDFC Ltd, Sun Pharma, Cipla and L&T. The country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, was a bright spot as it climbed 1.05 per cent after the company posted a 29.1 per cent growth in total sales in October. Shares of M&M, Coal India, RIL, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors too ended in the positive zone.

Sectorwise, the BSE metal index tanked the most, down 1.27 per cent, followed by capital goods, healthcare and power. In broader markets, the small-cap index shed 0.20 per cent while mid-cap managed to close 0.08 per cent higher. Meanwhile, foreign investors sold shares worth Rs 1,464.89 crore last Friday, as per provisional data. Overseas, Asian stocks ended down while European markets were trading lower in their morning session.

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