Sensex Ends Marginally Lower; Bank Stocks Fall


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Mumbai, Feb 22 (PTI) The BSE Sensex ended marginally lower Friday on losses in banking stocks as investors turned cautious after the release of minutes of RBI’s latest policy meeting highlighted growth concerns.

The 30-share Sensex settled 26.87 points, or 0.07 per cent lower at 35,871.48. The broader NSE Nifty inched up 1.80 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 10,791.65.

Kotak Bank was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, falling 3.71 per cent, followed by RIL, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance, PowerGrid, IndusInd Bank, Asian Paints, HDFC and ITC.

On the other hand, Yes Bank was the top gainer, spurting 3.23 per cent.

Other winners were Vedanta, Tata Motors, NTPC, M&M, Maruti, ONGC and Hero MotorCorp, rising up to 2.86 per cent.

Sectorally, the BSE bankex and finance indices fell up to 0.43 per cent. Energy and consumer durables too ended in the red.

BSE metal, auto, realty, power and oil and gas indices gained up to 1.62 per cent.

Broader indices outperformed the benchmarks, with the BSE Midcap index gaining 0.38 per cent and the small-cap gauge rising 0.77 per cent.

According to traders, despite positive global cues, investor sentiment turned weak after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Thursday released the minutes of its latest monetary policy meet.

The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee noted the “weakened growth momentum” amidst inflation cooling off as the reason for the surprise rate cut earlier this month.

In his debut policy review as RBI Governor, Shaktikanta Das argued that there was a need to look at growth concerns.

“Growth impulses have weakened and there is a need to spur private investments and strengthen private consumption, especially in the wake of slowing global growth,” Das argued and voted for a rate cut.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 202.10 crore, and foreign institutional investors (FIIs) also bought shares worth a net Rs 55.48 crore on Thursday, provisional data available with BSE showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.65 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.91 per cent and Korea’s Kospi gained 0.08 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.18 per cent lower.

In the Eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX was up 0.17 per cent, Paris CAC 40 rose 0.27 per cent, and London’s FTSE gained 0.17 per cent in early deals.

The benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.34 per cent to USD 67.30 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the rupee appreciated 5 paise to 71.19 against the US dollar intra-day.

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