Cement stocks drag Sensex down

Mumbai, Jan 23 | Updated: Jan 24 2007, 06:28am hrs
Equity bourses on Tuesday witnessed widespread weakness as stocks across sectors lost ground in the wake of a double whammy. State Bank of India (SBI), which reported a 4.5% fall in its third quarter net, pulled down most of the banking majors, while the governments decision to do away with customs duty on all types of cement dealt a blow to index constituents like ACC and Gujarat Ambuja Cements, which lost over 6% each.

The 30-share Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened the day at 14,212, which was also the day's high, before touching a low of 14,026. It finally ended the day at 14,041, down 168 points or 1.18%.

The market breadth plunged into the red as more than 1,700 stocks lost ground on the BSE, against less than 1,000 gainers. The Sensex pack comprised 28 losers, with only Bharti Airtel and Hindalco Industries managing to buck the trend. The broader S&P CNX Nifty settled the day at 4,066, down 36 points.

On the BSE, all the sectoral indices ended the day in the red with the BSE Bankex the worst performer, losing more than 2% or 162 points. While the SBI stock was down over 4%, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank lost 2.50% and 1.24%, respectively.