The Indian equity benchmarks declined for third day in a row on Friday dragged as banking and financial services shares along with index heavyweight Reliance Industries came under selling pressure. 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. The Sensex fell as much as 895 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday low of 17,613.

The Sensex ended 678 points or 1.13 per cent lower at 59,307 and Nifty 50 index declined 186 points to close at 17,672.

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.

Six of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty Private Bank and Information Technology indexes’ over 1 per cent decline. Nifty Oil & Gas, Financial Services and Bank indices also ended on a weak note.

On the other hand, auto, pharma, metal, media and PSU bank shares witnessed buying interest.

Mid- and small-cap share ended mixed as Nifty Midcap 100 index ended on flat note while Nifty Smallcap 100 index fell 0.4 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.

Tech Mahindra was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 3.5 per cent to close at Rs 1,480. NTPC, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Reliance Industries, Larsen & Toubro, HDFC, Infosys, SBI Life, Axis Bank, Eicher Motors and Sun Pharma also fell between 1.4-3 per cent.

On the flipside, UltraTech Cement, UPL, Cipla, Shree Cement, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Grasim Industries, Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki and Adani Ports were among the gainers.

The overall market breadth was negative as 1,809 shares ended lower while 1,438 closed higher on the BSE.

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