Benchmark Sensex slumped 260 points while the Nifty cracked below the 10,000-mark today after Sebi clamped down on 331 suspected shell companies listed on exchanges. The 30-share Sensex, which lost nearly 52 points in the previous session, resumed higher at 32,341.05 and advanced to 32,354.77 in early trade. But selling pressure suddenly emerged and dragged the gauge below the 32,000-mark briefly to a low of 31,915.20, before the index settled at 32,014.19, a loss of 259.48 points, or 0.80 per cent.
The NSE Nifty dipped below the key 10,000-mark to close 78.55 points, or 0.78 per cent down at 9,978.55 after shuttling between 10,083.80 and 9,947. Sentiment was hurt after market regulator Sebi last night directed bourses to initiate action against 331 suspected shell companies. These scrips will not be available for trading this month, brokers said.
In a communication to the BSE, NSE and the Metropolitan Stock Exchange, the markets regulator asked them to keep the 331 shares in stage four of the Graded Surveillance Mechanism (GSM) with immediate effect.