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Indian shares fall to 28-month low

Indian shares fell for a fifth session in a row on Tuesday, dropping 1.3 percent to their lowest close in 28 months, as risk aversion deepened in the absence of policy initiatives to revive slowing domestic growth. Investor confidence was further dented when European shares initially extended a two-week slide after a eurozone plan to boost crisis funds parked with the IMF failed to reach a hoped-for target.

Engineering and construction conglomerate Larsen and Toubro, which has been facing a slowdown in new orders as companies put off investment in large projects, was among the big losers. "The whole India story was built around just one word - growth," said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, research head at SMC Global Securities.

The main 30-share BSE index shed 1.33 percent, or 204.26 points, to 15,175.08, its lowest close since August, 2009. All but 5 of its components ended in the red. The 50-share NSE index fell 1.5 percent to 4,544.20. There were about 2.8 losers for every gainer in the broader market. About 573 million shares changed hands. The benchmark BSE index has lost 5.2 percent over five sessions, taking the fall to 26 percent since the start of January and making it the worst performing major stock market in the world.

Larsen & Toubro fell 5.3 percent to 977.70 rupees, its lowest close since May, 2009. Energy major Reliance Industries, which has about 10 percent weight on the main index, fell 3 percent and Bharti Airtel, the country's largest mobile operator, shed 3.9 percent.

Copyright Reuters, 2011