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Sensex sinks 311 pts; Nifty drops below 10,700-mark

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: February 18, 2019  | 16:52 IST

Mumbai, Feb 18 (PTI) Equity benchmarks wilted under selling pressure for the eight straight session Monday as risk appetite remained subdued amid sustained foreign fund outflows and geo-political concerns. The 30-share BSE Sensex tumbled 310.51 points, or 0.87 per cent to finish at 35,498.44, while the broader NSE Nifty fell 83.45 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 10,640.95. FMCG, banking, IT, auto and pharma stocks bore the brunt of heavy selling. 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. However, ONGC, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Vedanta, NTPC, IndusInd Bank and HDFC gained up to 1.48 per cent. "Market remained on a selling spree as reducing foreign inflows due to fear of escalation of tensions at the border impacted the sentiment. "Rupee weakened, 10-year yield inched up and rising oil prices are expected to weaken domestic macros. Volatility in the market to continue due to lack of domestic triggers and investors are likely to remain cautious. Global market stands positive supported by hope in US-China trade deals," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. Sectorally, BSE bankex, auto, FMCG, healthcare, metal and teck indices declined up to 1.36 per cent. Only telecom and realty ended in the green, gaining up to 0.88 per cent. Broader indices ended lower, with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap losing 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. PTI ANS ABM ABM

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