Sensex Sinks 311 Points; Nifty Drops Below 10,700-Mark

 

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Mumbai, Feb 18 (PTI) Falling for the eighth straight session, the BSE Sensex plunged over 311 points Monday on heavy selling in banking, FMCG, IT, auto and pharma stocks amid sustained foreign fund outflows.

The 30-share index settled 310.51 points, or 0.87 per cent lower at 35,498.44. The broader NSE Nifty fell 83.45 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 10,640.95.

Banking shares weakened after Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said he will meet heads of public and private sector banks this week to discuss transmission of interest rate cuts to borrowers.

Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank cut the benchmark interest rate by 0.25 per cent to 6.25 per cent. However, only a handful of banks, including SBI, have reduced their rates, that too by just 0.05 per cent.

Top losers in the Sensex pack included TCS, Yes Bank, ITC, Sun Pharma, Reliance, Coal India, Asian Paints, SBI, Maruti, HUL, HCL Tech and ICICI Bank, falling up to 2.91 per cent.

ONGC, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Vedanta, NTPC, IndusInd Bank and HDFC gained up to 1.48 per cent.

Sectorally, BSE bankex, auto, FMCG, healthcare, metal and teck indices fell up to 1.36 per cent.

Only telecom and realty ended in the green, rising up to 0.88 per cent.

Broader indices ended lower, with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap falling up to 1.04 per cent.

The rupee, meanwhile, depreciated 21 paise to 71.44 against the US dollar (intra-day).

Brent crude futures were trading 0.15 per cent higher at USD 66.35 per barrel.

Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors sold shares worth a net Rs 966.43 crore on Friday, while domestic institutional investors were net buyers to the tune of Rs 853.25 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.60 per cent, Japan’s Nikkei rallied 1.82 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.68 per cent, while Korea’s Kospi ended 0.67 per cent higher.

In the Eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX was down 0.27 per cent, Paris CAC 40 fell 0.06 per cent, and London’s FTSE shed 0.27 per cent in early deals.

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