Nifty hits 18-month low; metals & realty maimed

Bears have taken over the market once again, causing Nifty to revisit an 18-month low level of 4,728.25 -  a level that was last visited in February, 2010. The 30-share BSE Sensex was trading at 15,831, down 315 points and the 50-share NSE Nifty dropped 101 points to trade at 4,738. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices lost 2% each.

All sectoral indices were on sellers' radar. The BSE Realty and Metal plunged over 3.6%. Power, Bank, Oil & Gas and FMCG indices were down 2-2.6%.

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group stocks saw a big cut. Reliance Capital was the biggest loser, crashing 12%. Reliance Communications lost 10%. Reliance Infrastructure fell 9% and Reliance Power slipped 6%.

Among other largecaps, Reliance Industries, SBI, ITC, NTPC, Wipro, Tata Steel, SAIL, DLF, PNB and Cairn India were down 3-5%.

ONGC overtook RIL in market cap. However, only Infosys, Hero Motocorp and M&M were gainers.

Market breadth deteriorated further; about four shares declined for every one share gained.