Sensex sheds 272 points on fears of more leaks from Japan’s N-plant

| | Updated on: Mar 15, 2011
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The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex today plunged 272 points on brisk selling, triggered by losses in the global bourses amid fears of more leakages from Japan’s nuclear plant damaged in last week’s earthquake and tsunami.

The Sensex dropped by 271.83 points to close at 18,167.64. It fell below the 18,000 level in view of huge losses recorded in Asia following reports that nuclear radiation leaks in Japan could increase.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 81.85 points to 5,449.65, after touching the day’s low of 5,373.65.

Asian stocks slumped, dragging the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down by more than 10 per cent from its January peak.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average plunged 11 per cent, entering what some investors call a bear market phase. It has fallen over 20 per cent from its high on February 21.

Marketmen said Sensex, which has plunged 11 per cent this year, is Asia’s worst performer after Japan among the region’s largest stock markets on concerns that the interest rates may go up in view of high inflation, hurting growth.

Banking and interest sensitive stocks were also hit as investors turned cautious ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy meeting slated for March 17.

Stocks of realty, auto, metal and power sectors suffered the most on heavy unloading by investors as the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Naoto Kan, said the danger of more leaks was rising at the crippled facility.

Areva T&D, a company specialist in power transmission and distribution system, dropped Rs 13.90 to Rs 230.95. Tata Power, the largest non-state electricity generator, sank the most in more than five weeks, losing Rs 36.30 at Rs 1,212.55.

Maruti Suzuki India, a unit of Japan’s Suzuki Motor, also lost Rs 44.75 to Rs 1,214.50.

Bucking the general weakening trend, the most heaviest on the benchmark, Reliance Industries rose for the second day, adding Rs 18.65 to Rs 1,036.30 on reports the company paid higher advance taxes for this quarter.

Published on March 15, 2011

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