Indian equities plunged over 1.2 per cent at the closing session on Wednesday due to weak global cues and profit-booking by investors.

The 30-share BSE index Sensex ended at 20,635.13, down 255.69 points or 1.22 per cent and the 50-share NSE index Nifty ended at 6,122.90, down 80.45 points or 1.3 per cent.

On the BSE, Banking, Consumer Durables, Auto and TECk indices succumbed to heavy selling pressure and were down 1.76 per cent, 1.63 per cent, 1.23 per cent and 1.21 per cent, respectively. Only Metal index was up 0.16 per cent.

Coal India, SSLT, Tata Power and Tata Steel were the only Sensex gainers, while the top five losers were ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, Hindalco, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto.

European stocks were down as investors awaited reports on US retail and housing to gauge the health of the world’s biggest economy before minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

Asian shares were down after valuations on the regional benchmark index reached the highest level since May and as Samsung Electronics Co fell and WorleyParsons Ltd cut its profit forecast.

Without giving any indication of when the Fed would begin winding down its quantitative easing programme, Bernanke had said yesterday that the Fed was "committed to maintaining highly accommodative policies for as long as they are needed."

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, in his speech on Tuesday said: “Market participants may have taken the communication in June as indicating a general lessening of the committee's (Federal Open Market Committee-FOMC) commitment to maintain a highly accommodative stance of policy in pursuit of its objectives.

Looking forward, we will of course continue to monitor the incoming data. As reflected in the latest Summary of Economic Projections and the October FOMC statement, the FOMC still expects that labour market conditions will continue to improve and that inflation will move toward the 2 percent objective over the medium term. If these views are supported by incoming information, the FOMC will likely begin to moderate the pace of purchases.

The FOMC remains committed to maintaining highly accommodative policies for as long as they are needed. Communication about policy is likely to remain a central element of the Federal Reserve's efforts to achieve its policy goals.”

(This article was published on November 20, 2013)
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