The benchmark Sensex plunged 363 points, or 1.8%, to 19,901, while the Nifty ended down 2% on Monday - their second consecutive session of declines - on sustained selling in rate-sensitive shares, especially banks, on concerns that RBI governor Raghuram Rajan may increase interest rates further to curb inflation.
The 30-share index has declined 746 points, or 3.6%, in the past two sessions. The broader Nifty has fallen nearly 4% over the last two sessions, while the NSE’s bank index has slumped more than 8% in the same period after hawkish Rajan shocked markets in his maiden policy review on Friday by raising interest rates.
The Nifty closed down 122 points, or 2%, to 5,890 on Monday.
While the trend remains down for the short-term, policy announcements and foreign flows would provide the cues for the markets in the long-term, analysts said. Foreign institutional investors have so far bought around R12300 crore worth of Indian shares over the previous 12 sessions, according to exchange and regulator data.
Global brokerages including Standard Chartered, Nomura and Credit Suisse expect RBI to hike the repo or key lending rate by another 0.50 percentage points in 2013-14.
“The Sensex closed below an important support of 19,960, which is likely to trigger further weakness to 19,500/194,50 in the next two or three days,” said Shrikant Chouhan, head, technical research, Kotak Securities.
Interest rate sensitive sectors including banking (down 4.4%), realty (down 4.3%) and capital goods (down 3.3%) were the biggest losers among sectoral indices.
Among the Sensex stocks, 22 finished lower, led by State Bank of India (5.4%), ONGC (4.9%), ICICI Bank (4.4%), Maruti Suzuki (4.4%) and Larsen and Toubro (4.2%).
Mortgage lenders HDFC, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank dragged the index down by about 155 points.
Among realty stocks, DLF plunged 6.5%, Indiabulls Real Estate 5.7% and HDIL 5%.
“I think the market would now focus on pending reforms both by RBI and the government,” said Deven Choksey, managing director at KR Choksey Securities.