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Sensex crashes 550 points on Rupee woes, rising crude worries

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex plunged over 550 points Wednesday to slip below the 36,000-mark on heavy selling in IT, auto and telecom stocks, after the rupee collapsed to a new life-time low amid surging crude oil prices.

After a weak start, The BSE 30-share barometer plummeted below the 36,000-mark to hit a low of 35,911.82, finally settling 550.51 points, or 1.51 per cent, down at 35,975.63.

The gauge had gained 299 points in the previous session Monday after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced measures to shore up liquidity.

The NSE Nifty, too, stayed in the negative terrain through the session and hit a low of 10,843.75, finally ending 150.05 points, or 1.36 per cent, lower at 10,858.25.

Market cracked as rupee hit a new low due to increase in oil prices and concern over balance of payment, said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

"Despite government's plan to cut borrowing in H2FY19, yields continued to increase due to rate hike expectation from RBI. Sentiment for equity has turned tepid given heightened volatility in the domestic and global financial markets," he added. According to market analysts, the outcome of RBI monetary policy, which is scheduled Friday, will provide further direction to the markets.

The three-day RBI policy review began Wednesday, and the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is expected to go for a 25 basis points hike.

The rupee breached the 73-mark for the first time to hit an all-time low of 73.41 (intra-day) against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil near $85 a barrel.

Mixed trend at other Asian and European markets on weak global cues also accelerated selling activity on bourses here, traders said. Asian stocks ended mixed with Hong Kong's Hang Seng falling 0.13 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei shedding 0.66 per cent. Taiwan Index too fell 0.51 per cent.

In the Eurozone, Paris CAC rose 0.44 per cent, but Frankfurt's DAX was down 0.42 per cent in their late deals. London's FTSE up 0.38 per cent.

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