Mumbai: Market benchmark Sensex today fell to a 20-month low after plunging 266.67 points to 24,188.37, dragged down by a massive dip in exports, while RIL cracked over 5 percent on crude slipping below USD 28 per barrel.
Moreover, muted earnings and widening trade deficit to USD 11.6 billion in December as against USD 9.1 billion in the year-ago period, further battered the market mood, which is already rattled by depreciating rupee and concerns over health of the Chinese economy.
- Indian merchandise exports shrank 14.75 percent in December to USD 22.2 billion due to a steep fall in shipment of petroleum products.
- Oil prices dipped to USD 27.67, its lowest since 2003 after lifting of sanctions now allows Iran to resume crude exports.
- Resuming lower at 24,400.78, the Sensex quickly rebounded to the day's high of 24,524.85 at the outset on spurt in Tata Steel, Wipro and Hero MotoCorp. However, it later slipped and touched a low of 24,141.99 before ending 266.67 points or 1.09 percent lower at 24,188.37.
- The NSE Nifty too remained under pressure and slipped below the 7,400-mark to hit a low of 7,336.40 before settling 86.80 points or 1.17 percent down at 7,351.
- RIL was the worst-hit, down 5.14 percent ahead of its quarterly earnings tomorrow, followed by Bajaj Auto at 3.67 percent.
- BHEL gained the most at 4.29 percent while Tata Steel surged 2.76 percent.
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