India joins global rout, but Dalal Street keeps hope

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Dark clouds hung over Dalal Street, home of the BSE and with a century-old legacy of stocks, as losses mounted on the Sensex and Nifty. The Sensex fell over 700 points in intra-day trade on the back of sell-off across the globe on fears that the US may get back into recession again. The 30-share index fell 384.31 points, or 2.19%, to close at 17305.87. Sanjay Lakhani, 43, an investor, said, “Overall, it’s a cumulative reaction. The RBI increased key rates, scams are being exposed…Even a solid stock like Reliance came down to 700 today.” He added, “Once US loses its ‘AAA’ rating, markets will crash further.”

Others said they will reduce the share of stocks in their portfolio, making way for more stable instruments. Kishorbhai Patel, 60, said he has been trading in the markets since 1970, but recently quit due to excess volatility. “They are all thieves,” he declared, pointing at the building. “I instead put my money in fixed deposits and am glad to get small but sure returns.” Vijay Solanki, 40, who was nervously chewing on betel nuts, looked optimistic . “It’s not so bad. I’ve invested in firms with good management, like L&T . But of course, now, everything is down!,” he exclaimed. “But this is not a good time to sell. I will hold and then see how to change my portfolio.”

For some retail investors, who have been mostly sitting out of the rally since 2009, the Sensex breaching 17000 levels posed an opportunity. Broking firms in Mumbai and Ahmedabad received a lot of enquiries, though all could not be converted into buying.

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