Brutal end to week; Sensex closes 698 pts down

BSE benchmark Sensex closed down 328 points at 16,142 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 98.5 points to close at 4,845.65. During the week, Sensex shed 698 points, with IT taking the major cut. Others impacted are capital goods, banking and metal companies' shares.

The trouble started with news that major European banks are facing short term fund crisis, which resulted in 5% cut in Nasdaq and mayhem in India and Asia. At one point, the Sensex had breached the 16000 mark to go down as far as 15,987.77. The 50-share Nifty too witnessed an intraday low of 4,796.10.

European markets were trading near two-year lows. France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE were down 2.5-4% at the time of closing of Indian equities.

Among Asian markets, Hang Seng, Straits Times, Nikkei and Taiwan closed down 2.5-3.5%. Kospi was the biggest loser among global indices with falling over 6%. Shanghai lost just 1%.

Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson & Company expects to see a further downside of the major emerging markets (EMs). He indicated that the weaknesses in developed markets (DMs) like the US and Europe are reinforcing the bearish mood in EMs.

Ross advised investors to cautious. "Investors should remain defensive and conservative. They should keep some cash on the sidelines for a better buying opportunity, perhaps at the end of the summer, but at much lower levels in terms of price," he explained.