Sensex closes 687 points down

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The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Friday logged its fourth biggest fall as it tumbled 687 points on heavy selling by funds, triggered by weak global cues and rising inflation.

The 30-share index fell below the 19,000 point mark during the day.

The Sensex, which remained on a downward march in the last few days, plunged by 687.12 points to 19,013.70. It touched the day’s low of 18,930.42.

This is the fourth biggest fall in absolute terms in the stock exchange history after the loss of 826 points on May 18, 2006, 769.48 points on December 17, 2007 and 717.43 points on October 17, 2007.

Inflation rate grew by 3.79 per cent in the first week of the New Year.

The Sensex has lost over 1,814 points in past five straight trading session.

Selling pressure was so intense that the small-cap and mid-cap shares, which had attracted heavy investment enquiries last week, too suffered a sharp setback.

The second wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty plunged by 207.90 points to 5,705.30, after dipping to 5,677 points during the day.

Asian and European markets were sharply down in line with a sharp fall in the US Wall Street and Nasdaq. American stocks tumbled on concerns that rising inflation may prevent the Federal Reserve from lowering interest rates.

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