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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Indian share prices hit new low
Bombay Stock Broker
The Sensex has lost almost 30% of its value since May 10
Share prices on India's benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange tumbled by 4.4% on Tuesday, falling to their lowest level this year.

Heavy selling saw the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex index dropping below 9,000 points for the first time this year before closing at 9,063 points.

Analysts say investors remain jittery after declines in other Asian markets.

Indian shares have fallen sharply since 10 May, when the benchmark index reached a record high of 12,612 points.

Since then, it has lost more than 28% leading to a loss of more than $200bn in share values.

Shares fell across the board with automobile, housing and software shares being hit hardest.

Blue chip stocks that did badly include housing finance company HDFC Ltd, which fell by nearly 10%, and Indian industrial giants Tata Steel and Reliance Industries.

Analysts warn that there is little chance of any immediate improvement.

"Global factors, including a decision to hike US interest rates in June-end, could impact the markets further," Ravi Menon, director of investment banking for HSBC Securities, told AFP.

Many believe the volatility in the Indian markets have hurt short-term investors out to make quick gains.

But others stress that the long-term outlook in India's emerging market economy is still strong.

"It provides an excellent time to buy value stocks," Porinju Veliyath of Equity Intelligence is quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

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