The BSE Sensex declined over 200 points on Wednesday amid concerns that the Reserve Bank will not cut interest rates next week amid rising retail inflation. Wholesale price inflation data, a key indicator ahead of the RBI’s policy review on March 19, is due on Thursday.
This was the biggest fall for the Sensex in March. Weakness in global markets also weighed on sentiments, traders said.
The Sensex shed 202 points or 1 per cent to end at 19,363, while the broader Nifty benchmark retreated 63 points to close at 5,851. The rupee slipped to 54.29 against the dollar.
Rate sensitive stocks, especially banks, bore the brunt of the selloff on Wednesday. The BSE Bankex slumped 2.2 per cent, underperforming all other sectoral indices.
ICICI Bank, India’s biggest private lender, ended 3.3 per cent lower, while Axis Bank declined 2.75 per cent. Other rate sensitives sectors – realty and auto- also witnessed sharp selloff.
39 shares closed lower on the Nifty. Aluminium maker Hindalco was the top loser, down 3.7 per cent. Jindal Steel and Power, Bajaj Auto and Maruti Suzuki also declined 3-4 per cent.
Drug maker Sun Pharma was the top Nifty gainer, rising 1.2 per cent. The stock hit its 52-week high in intraday trade on an upgrade by CLSA. FMCG stocks, inherently a defensive bet in falling market, gained. ITC and HUL both saw buying interest.
Source : NDTV Profit.