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he Sensex, also known as the sensitivity index, is the benchmark index of BSE Limited and is the most widely tracked equity gauge in India.

Officially known as the S&P BSE Sensex since February, 2013, the index captures the performance of the top 30 largest, most liquid and financially stable companies from across major sectors of the Indian economy that are listed on the exchange. It reflects the health of the equity market, investor sentiment and broadly the state of the economy.

The Sensex was launched on January 1, 1986, with the base value of 100 set on April 1, 1979. The credit for coining the term, Sensex, goes to Deepak Mohoni, a stock market analyst and IIT, Kanpur graduate and IIM, Calcutta alumnus.

As of September 20, 2017, the index was hovering above the 30,000 mark. It is the oldest index in the country, while the Bombay Stock Exchange, now called BSE Limited, is the oldest exchange in Asia.

The Sensex is managed and operated by a joint venture between BSE and S&P Dow Jones Indices, a global index manager. The composition of the Sensex is recast or modified from time to time to represent the true composition of the market.

Stocks in the eligible universe must satisfy the following eligibility criteria in order to be considered for inclusion in the Sensex. First of all, the stocks must have a listing history of at least six months on BSE. An exception may be granted if the average float-adjusted market capitalisation of a newly-listed stock ranks in the top 10 of all stocks listed on BSE. In such a case, the minimum listing history required is one month.

The qualified stock has to trade on every trading day on BSE during the six-month reference period. Also, the eligible companies must have reported revenues for the preceding four quarters.

BSE on December 6, 2016 launched the S&P BSE Sensex50 index, which is designed to measure the performance of the 50 largest and most liquid companies within the S&P BSE100 index.

Investors, traders and anyone keen on the equity market can track Sensex quotes live on BSEIndia.com, ETMarkets.com and countless other websites and TV channels from 9.00 am to 3.30 pm on all weekdays. Financial markets in India remain closed on Saturday, Sunday and on select public holidays such as Independence Day, Holi, Republic Day, etc.