Sensex falls to 2-wk low; bank shares slip as RBI holds rates

Sensex falls to 2-wk low; bank shares slip as RBI holds rates

Sensex falls to 2-wk low; bank shares slip as RBI holds rates

Markets fell for the third straight session with the benchmark Sensex today slipping 122.13 points to end at nearly two-week low of 29,000.14, weighed down by rate-sensitive banking and realty shares after the RBI disappointed markets by not lowering interest rates.

In highly volatile trade, the BSE Sensex opened higher and rallied to 29,253.06 in early deals. However, it entered the negative terrain after the RBI policy was announced and even dipped below the 29,000-mark to touch low of 28,900.41.

However, the bluechip index managed to gain some ground and closed at 29,000.14, down 122.13 points, or 0.42 per cent.

The gauge has now lost 681.63 points in three days and closed at its weakest since 28,888.86 on January 21, 2015.

On similar lines, the 50-share NSE index Nifty finished 40.85 points down, or 0.46 per cent, at 8,756.55 after moving between 8,726.65 and 8,837.30 intra-day.

RBI today left interest rate unchanged at 7.75 per cent, but cut the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) - the amount of funds that lenders must set aside - by 50 basis points to 21.5 per cent of deposits from February 7.

"Markets showed their disappointment on the outcome of monetary policy," said Bonanza Portfolio, Associate Fund Manager, Hiren Dhakan.

Among prominent banking stocks, Axis Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank fell up to 4.95 per cent.

Sectorwise, the BSE Banking index suffered the most by falling 2.61 per cent largely on the fall in stocks post the RBI policy announcement.

In other sectoral indices, BSE Realty index fell 1.43 per cent, Healthcare index (0.92 per cent), Power index (0.68 per cent) and Auto index (0.66 per cent) among others.

In the 30-share Sensex constituents, 16 ended lower and 14 gained, helping the benchmark indices trim losses.

Meanwhile, oil firms were in better form with Reliance Industries up 3.25 per cent and ONGC up 2.64 per cent after a rebound in international crude prices.

Globally, a rise in European stocks at opening and a mixed trend at the other Asian markets also influenced the trading sentiments here, a broker said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors sold shares worth a net Rs 629.97 crore yesterday as per provisional data.

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