Sensex down 155 pts to nearly 3-wk low ahead of RBI policy

Sensex down 155 pts to nearly 3-wk low ahead of RBI policy

Sliding lower for the fourth day, the S&P BSE benchmark Sensex today fell 155 points to nearly three-week low of 19,593.28 as banking stocks remained weak ahead of RBI monetary policy review while FMCG, PSU and metal shares saw selling earnings-related pressure.

The Sensex, which shed 555 points in last three sessions, fell further by 154.91 points, or 0.78 per cent to 19,593.28 -- its lowest closing value of 19,294.12 on July 10.

On similar lines, the National Stock Exchange index fell by 54.55 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 5,831.65. "The sentiment remained weak as investors showed caution and Nifty closed below 5,850 level. Rupee continued to show weakness against dollar and trading close to 59 level. Sun Pharma, ITC, HUL and HDFC Bank were major losers," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.

Investors remained wary of further liquidity tightening steps by RBI tomorrow, brokers said.

Among Sensex constituents, Hindustan Unilever dropped 3.71 per cent to Rs 638.70 and ITC by 2.88 per cent to Rs 357.90. The two stocks have a combined 16 per cent weight.

Weak earnings posted by some companies like Indian Bank, Bharti Infratel, Allahabad Bank and Jaiprakash Associates also led to selling, brokers added.

In 30-BSE index components, 20 stocks declined while 10 ended higher. The FMCG sector index suffered the most (losing 2.67 per cent), followed by metal index (1.80 per cent), PSU index (1.80 per cent), realty (1.65 per cent) and banking (1.20 per cent).

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