BSE Sensex hits 1-1/2-mth closing low as banks, Cipla shares plunge, NSE Nifty down by 20

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Sensex declines 59 points on economic growth concerns. (Reuters) Sensex declines 59 points on economic growth concerns. (Reuters)
SummaryGovt economic growth forecast made investors flee the markets.

are how many more reforms come and how soon they get implemented, to stoke growth and avoid rating cuts, added Kedia.

The benchmark BSE index fell 0.3 percent, or 59.40 points, to end at 19,580.32, falling for a sixth day to mark its biggest losing streak since Nov 21, 2011.

The broader NSE index fell 0.34 percent, or 20.40 points, to end at 5,938.80.

Bank stocks such as ICICI Bank Ltd fell 0.9 percent, on concerns that growth is likely to slowdown even as inflation remains high, after government's FY 13 GDP estimates came in lower than market expectations.

Shares in Cipla Ltd fell 2.7 percent, a day after the company's October-December net profit missed estimates, which were followed by downgrades from Morgan Stanley and CLSA citing lower-than-expected margins and earnings outlook.

State-run power utility NTPC Ltd shares fell 2.5 percent after its shares sale price was set at 145 rupees, or at a 4.5 percent discount to its Wednesday's close. NTPC's weight in MSCI India index would rise from 0.63 percent to 1.79 percent as the company's free float stock increases after its offer for sale, Citigroup said in a note, quoting MSCI.

Shares in Ambuja Cements Ltd fell 3.1 percent on expectations the company will post lower-than-expected earnings for the October-December quarter later in the day, dealers said.

India's Strides Arcolab Ltd ended 12.7 percent lower, after falling as much as 17.4 percent in Mumbai trading earlier on Thursday, as investors cast doubts on media reports that the drug maker may sell its injectable-medicines unit Agila Specialties.

Telecoms shares fell, tracking the sixth straight monthly fall in India's mobile phone subscriber base which declined by a net 25.88 million, or 2.9 percent, in December.

Bharti Airtel Ltd fell 2 percent, while Idea Cellular Ltd ended 2.8 percent lower.

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