Sensex hits three-month low, Nifty drops 100 points, bank stocks drag
The BSE Sensex closed lower by 252.88 points, or 0.76%, to 32,923.12, while the NSE Nifty 50 fell 100.90 points, or 0.99%, to close at 10,094.25.business Updated: Mar 19, 2018 16:16 IST
The benchmark BSE Sensex on Monday cracked below the 33,000-mark, by falling nearly 253 points, extending its slide for the fifth straight session on unabated foreign fund outflows amid weak global cues.
Overall market sentiment remained weak after the RBI data released after market hours on Friday showed current account deficit (CAD) rose to 2% of the GDP at $13.5 billion in the December quarter, up from 1.4% in the year-ago period, due to a higher trade deficit.
The rupee also depreciated by 19 paise intra-day against the dollar at 65.13, which too had a negative influence.
Global cues too were weak as investors moved cautiously before the US Federal Reserve meeting, that is likely to raise US interest rates.
The BSE 30-share barometer opened higher at 33,268.97 and advanced to 33,275.79 in morning trade on value-buying in recently battered stocks by investors.
However, across-the-board profit booking at every rise, pulled it down to a low of 32,856.54. Financial stocks lost ground, with public sector lenders taking the brunt. The Nifty PSU bank index closed down 2.6%, with Bank of Baroda ending 7.3% lower.
The index finally settled down 252.88 points or 0.76% at 32,923.12. This is the weakest closing since December 6 last when it settled at 32,597.18. The gauge lost 741.94 points in the previous four sessions.
The wider NSE Nifty too fell by 100.90 points or 0.99% to end at 10,094.25. It shuttled between 10,224.55 and 10,075.30 during the session.
Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 150.46 crore on Friday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 770.53 crore, as per the provisional data.