Sensex down 12.8 per cent in September quarter

It was the worst quarterly performance in over two years for the Sensex, which fell by a hefty 12.8 per cent during the quarter ending September 2011.

The benchmark index on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) had plummeted by 25 per cent in the October-December 2008 quarter, following the global crisis.

On Friday, the Sensex fell 244 points to close at 16,454.

During the July-September quarter, investors have lost about Rs7,80,000 crore, following the 12.8 per cent fall in the Sensex. But while comparing the Sensex performance with other major global indices, it appears to have done relatively well.

For instance, the DAX, CAC40 and Hang Seng all lost about 25 per cent of their value during the July-September quarter. The S&P 500 was down nearly 16 per cent, while the Shanghai and FTSE were down about 14 per cent each.

The only major global index to have out-performed the Sensex in the September quarter was the Nikkei 225, which lost just about 10 per cent.

First compiled in 1986, the Sensex, which tracks 30 sensitive stocks, was earlier calculated on a market capitalisation-weighted methodology. The base year for the Sensex is 1978-79, when it had a value of 100. Since September 2003, it is being calculated on a free-float market capitalisation methodology.

The Sensex scrips have a market capitalisation of Rs27,34,234 crore, accounting for more than 45 per cent of the total market capitalisation. It saw a 52-week high of 21108.64 and a low of 15765.53 over the past 12 months.

Indian stock markets have been jittery over the past few months on fears of a double-dip recession in the advanced economies. The crisis in the euro zone, caused by debt problems in countries including Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain - and likely to extend to other developed economies, including Italy and France - and the failure of the European Union to bail out Greece have spooked global stock markets.

The inability of the United Progressive Alliance government to control inflation - despite the Reserve Bank of India hiking rates by 12 times since March 2010 - have also resulted in hefty losses on the bourses.