The benchmark Sensex on Tuesday fell 60 points, or 0.3%, to close at 20,548, retreating from a nearly three-year high hit earlier in the session, as blue chips declined ahead of the October 17 deadline to lift the US debt ceiling that is keeping world markets nervous.
The index, which oscillated 313 points between the day’s high and low, gained 712 points in the previous five trading sessions.
Banking stocks led the fall after data showing higher-than-expected headline and retail inflation on Monday sparked concerns that RBI will raise interest rates again in its policy review later this month. With WPI inflation at 6.46% in September, analysts expect RBI to hike its key lending rate, or repo rate, by 0.25 percentage points.
Markets will be shut on Wednesday for Eid-ul-Zuha.
The Sensex lost some of its shine as a Morgan Stanley survey of 95 institutional investors said investors have turned “equal-weight” on stocks with only 21% of the investors being “overweight” on India versus 39% in February.
The NSE Nifty lost 24 points, or 0.4%, to close at 6,089.
Of the 30 Sensex shares, 17 fell, led by HDFC Bank (down 2.4% to `651), SBI (down 2.1% to `1,622) and ICICI Bank (down 2% to `976).
Among the sectoral indices, BSE Bankex declined 2.6%, followed by realty (down 1.6%) and consumer durables (down 1.2%) .
“Generally, the earnings season is the toughest for traders due to excessive news flow and events taking place simultaneously,” said Jayant Manglik, president, retail distribution, Religare Securities.
The rupee meanwhile ended down 28 paise to close at 61.8 against the dollar on expectations US lawmakers would reach a deal to end the debt ceiling impasse.