Sensex down 135 points; bank stocks tank

Mumbai, March 10 (IANS) A day after it fell more than 600 points, a benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip BSE Sensitive Index (Sensex), closed Tuesday’s trade down 135 points or 0.47 percent.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed the day’s trade in red. It was down 44.70 points or 0.51 percent at 8,712.05 points.

The S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex, which opened at 28,924.06 points, closed the day’s trade at 28,709.87 points, down 134.91 points or 0.47 percent from the previous day’s close at 28,844.78 points.

The Sensex had touched a high of 28,949.11 points and a low of 28,584.49 points in the intra-day trade.

According to analysts, the markets came under pressure on the back of a strong US dollar. The major reason for the rise in the US dollar was the fear of an imminent rate hike by US Fed.

“Profit booking continues as investor across the world are concerned about US rate hike. The world believes that US rate hike will start post the June 15. The Fed meeting will be held on March 17 and 18,” said Vinod Nair, head-fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

“Having said that, the inflation numbers in the US are not encouraging, hence the Fed will consider postponing an immediate decision. Hence till the time this meeting is concluded, India can be in consolidation,” he added.

Healthy buying was observed in consumer durables, automobile, metal and technology, entertainment and media (TECK) sectors. However, banks, oil and gas, capital goods, healthcare, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and realty stocks came under selling pressure.

The S&P BSE consumer durables index was up 122.63 points, followed by automobile index which was higher by 71.88 points, metal index rose 56.86 points and TECK index increased 48.67 points.

However, the S&P BSE bank index was down 107.77 points, the oil and gas index fell 74.98 points, capital goods index was lower by 72.41 points, healthcare index decreased 32.61 points, FMCG index declined by 32.20 points and the realty index fell 31.94 points.

On Monday, the Sensex plunged 604 points or 2.05 percent, as the Indian markets have reacted negatively to the sharp increase in the US non-farm payroll data for January.

The Indian markets were anxious as rapid increases in non-farm payroll data might lead to an increase in inflation.

This can make the US Federal Reserve raise interest rates sooner than previously expected. With higher interest rates, foreign institutional investors will be led away from emerging markets such as India.

The major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: Bharti Airtel, up 7.09 percent at Rs.367.90; Coal India, up 3.84 percent at Rs.370.65; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 1.74 percent at Rs.1,227.05 and Bajaj Auto, up 0.75 percent at Rs.2,128.95.

The losers were: HDFC, down 3.89 percent at Rs.1,312.80; Hindalco, down 2.06 percent at Rs.138.05; Hindustan Unilever, down 1.81 percent at Rs.956.65; Sun Pharma, down 1.58 percent at Rs.1,025.20; and Tata Power, down 1.34 percent at Rs.81.15.

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