Falling for a third straight session, the benchmark BSE Sensex today slipped by 262 points to close at a 21-month low of 23,758.90 as banks and realty sectors witnessed heavy selling pressure amid weak global cues. Country's biggest lender SBI fell by 4.82 per cent to Rs 158.95 ahead of its financial results, while banks-based index on BSE slipped by more than 2 per cent. The BSE Sensex after opening lower at 23,938.32 continued to slide on selling in blue-chips, forcing the index to touch a low of 23,636.72 before settling at 23,758.90, showing a loss of 262.08 points or 1.09 per cent. This was index's weakest closing since May 12, 2014. The 50-share NSE Nifty tumbled 82.50 points or 1.13 per cent to close at 7,215.70 after touching a low of 7,177.75. As many as 23 Sensex stocks closed with losses, including Tata Motors, Adani Ports, HDFC, Cipla, BHEL, Dr Reddy's, Lupin, ONGC, Axis Bank, Hero MotoCorp and ITC. However, Coal India, L&T, Maruti, RIL, M&M, Infosys and Tata steel ended in green. Among BSE sectoral indices, realty suffered the most at 3.46 per cent followed by banking (2.04 pc), PSU (1.90 pc), healthcare (1.55 pc), FMCG (1.37 pc), auto (1.18 pc) oils&gas (0.75 per cent) and power (0.67 pc). The broader markets also performed weak with the BSE small-cap index falling 1.42 per cent and mid-cap down 0.95 per cent. Weak quarterly earnings of key corporates, global economic growth prospects and continued selling pressure by foreign portfolio investors, dampened the sentiment. In overseas markets, most Asian markets plunged, tracking overnight sell-off in the US after oil prices tanked again on fears of a deepening economic slowdown. Japan's Nikkei crashed 2.31 per cent while Chinese and Hong Kong markets remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. 

Over 200 stocks hit 52-week low
Hit by massive sell-off in the stock market, about 212 stocks hit their one-year low level on the BSE today, with the benchmark Sensex tumbling by 262 points. Stocks that hit their 52-week low include Adani Ports, Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, BHEL, Central Bank of India, Dena Bank and DLF. Similarly, Hindalco Industries, Idea Cellular, IOB, PNB, SAIL, Suzlon Energy, Tech Mahindra and UCO Bank too touched their 52-week low level. Banks came under heavy selling pressure after posting disappointing quarterly numbers that also hit the broader market sentiment. The BSE Sensex resumed lower at 23,938.32 and fell further to 23,636.72 before concluding at almost 21-month low of 23,758.90, showing a loss of 262.08 points or 1.09 per cent. The index had ended at 23,551.00 on May 12, 2014. Intra-day, the index hit its 52-week low of 23,636.72. "The market is in the bear grip and has hit a fresh intra-day 52-week low today. The road ahead looks jittery with the upcoming union budget and the deepening slowdown in the rest of the world," said Vinod Nair, Head-Fundamental Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd. At the BSE, 2,036 stocks declined, while 608 advanced.
109 stocks remained unchanged. Among the 30-Sensex stocks, 22 ended lower led by Tata Motors, State Bank of India and Housing Development Finance Corporation. 

Gold ETFs record Rs 656 cr outflow

Investors continued to pull out money from gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and withdrew Rs 656 crore in the first ten months of the current fiscal, shrinking asset base of such products by more than eight per cent. It also marked the third consecutive financial year of outflow from gold ETFs. The pace of outflow slowed, however, in 2015-16 compared with the preceding two fiscal years on account of sluggish equity market trends, experts said. The gold ETFs witnessed a net outflow of Rs 656 crore in the first ten months (April-January) of the ongoing fiscal year, as compared to an outflow of Rs 1,290 crore in the same period of 2014-15 fiscal. These funds witnessed outflows of Rs 1,475 crore in the entire 2014-15 and a withdrawal of Rs 2,293 crore in 2013-14. The demand for gold ETFs has been steadily falling in the past few years. These products have seen outflow as gold prices are correcting and equities have given good returns to investors. Retail investors have been putting in more money into equity and debt mutual funds during April-January period of the current financial year. Equity and equity-linked saving schemes saw an infusion of nearly Rs 73,000 crore and debt funds attracted about Rs 30,000 crore. Overall, mutual fund schemes have witnessed an inflow of Rs 1.84 lakh crore during the period under review. Of late, gold ETFs have been losing sheen as gold prices are correcting. The outflow pulled down the asset base of gold funds to Rs 6,096 crore in January 2016, from Rs 6,665 crore at the end of March 2015, translating into a slump of 8.54 per cent. The mutual fund sector has 14 gold-based schemes, which have been in the market since 2006-07. 


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