Sensex falls 130 points on global sell-off amid fiscal deficit worries
Indian stock markets closed on a negative note with Sensex dropping for the third straight day losing as much as 137 points as the shares of heavyweight companies such as ICICI Bank, Infosys, HDFC Bank, and SBI plunged substantially in today’s session. The S&P BSE Sensex tripped down 137.1 points or 0.4% to settle at 34,046.94 whereas NSE Nifty shed 34.5 points or 0.33% to conclude the day at 10,458.35. An all-round sell-off was observed in the Indian equities on Thursday even as the GDP rose to a five-quarter high of 7.2% in the October-December period of the FY18. Among the markets, all the sectoral and broader market indices of National Stock Exchange ended in red with Nifty PSU Bank index facing a major fall.
PSU banks share plunge
In a major development today, the government ordered to close 35 international branches of PSU banks over the concerns of viability and profitability, TV reports said citing Banking Secretary. A panel of bankers has decided to close down 35 overseas branches of PSBs (public sector banks) and further, it has been noted that government will take a call on consolidation on 69 foreign branches, offices, arms and JVs. The government is looking to consolidate foreign operations of PSU banks in same geographies, the report added.
Following the announcement, the stocks PSU banks such as State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Union Bank of India, Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank slumped up to 5%. Shares of India’s largest lender by assets State Bank of India tanked 2.52% to a day’s low of Rs 261.25 before settling down 2.16% at Rs 262.2 while shares of Indian Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, and Union Bank of India slumped 2-5%. The Nifty PSU Bank index closed at 3,021.45, down by 1.87%.
Shares of Coal India, IndusInd Bank, HUL, M&M, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and ONGC emerged as the only notable gainers among the Sensex components rising up to 1.1% while shares of ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Infosys, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ITC, Power Grid, and Reliance Industries dived 0.5-3%. Shares of heavyweight companies such as ICICI Bank, Infosys, HDFC Bank, SBI, RIL and ITC contributed the most to the Sensex losses. Collectively, these six stocks alone wiped off about 159 points out of the 137-point drop while a little uptick in shares of IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and HUL helped to trim the losses adding 21 points to the index.(Agencies)