The Indian equity benchmarks moved sharply lower in afternoon trading after staging a swift recovery in opening deals as banking and financial services shares along with index heavyweight Reliance Industries came under selling pressure. The Sensex which recovered over 850 points earlier in the day was down over 500 points and Nifty fell below 17,750 after recovering from low of 17,613.10 and hitting an intraday high of 17,915.85. Reliance Industries, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Infosys, Larsen & Toubro, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank were among the top drags on the Sensex.

The Sensex fell 530 points or nearly 1 per cent to 59,455 and Nifty 50 index declined 132 points to 17,725 by 1:40 pm.

Consistent selling by foreign institutional investors amid downgrade of Indian equities by global investment bank Morgan Stanley has dented the investors’ sentiment towards Indian markets.

Foreign institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 3,818.51 crore on Thursday while foreign institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 836.6 crore.

The FIIs have so far this month sold shares worth more than Rs 11,000 crore, according to NSDL data.

Meanwhile, six of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Private Bank index’s 1.3 per cent fall. Nifty Bank, IT, Financial Services and Oil & Gas indices were also trading lower.

On the flipside, real estate, pharma, PSU bank and metal stocks were witnessing buying interest.

Mid- and small-cap shares were trading mixed as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.3 per cent while Smallcap 100 index fell 0.6 per cent.

Shares of the Indian Railways’ catering, tourism and online ticketing arm – Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) staged a strong recovery after Ministry of Railways withdrew IRCTC convenience fee sharing decision. Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management tweeted, Ministry of Railways has decided to withdraw the decision on IRCTC convenience fee. The decision was reversed within 19 hours after the massive fall in stock price.

RBL Bank – dropped as much as 15 per cent to hit an intraday low of Rs 172.10 a day after it reported September quarter earnings. RBL Bank’s net profit declined sharply on account of higher provisioning in the second quarter of current financial year. The bank reported net profit of Rs 31 crore compared with Rs 144 crore during the same quarter last year, marking a decline of 78 per cent.

Kotak Mahindra Bank was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 3.4 per cent to Rs 2,027. Reliance Industries, NTPC, IndusInd Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Tech Mahindra, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, HDFC, SBI Life, Eicher Motors and Wipro also fell between 1.2-2.6 per cent.

On the flipside, UltraTech Cement, Shree Cement, Cipla, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Steel, Adani Ports, Tata Motors and Divi’s Labs were among the gainers.

The overall market breadth was negative as 1,761 shares were declining while 1,400 were advancing on the BSE.

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