Sunday, October 17

Indian shares slide away from record levels, private banks drop

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BENGALURU — Indian shares fell on Wednesday, skidding further away from last week’s record highs amid losses in private banking stocks, with growing economic uncertainty and US inflation worries weighing on global sentiment.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.21% to 17,711.3, and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.43% at 59,413.27.

Trade remained volatile, with the Nifty volatility index rising 1.6% ahead of the September futures and options expiry on Thursday.

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The Indian rupee weakened to its lowest level in a month, as expectations of a tapering in the US Federal Reserve’s bond purchases sent US bond yields and the greenback higher.

While domestic economic recovery remained robust and COVID-19 risks were low, concerns about China Evergrande’s debt crisis and the impact of US bond buy tapering persisted, said Mohit Ralhan, managing partner and chief investment officer at TIW Private Equity.

Private banks extended losses, with Housing Development Finance Corp dropping over 2% to be the biggest loser on the Nifty 50 index.

Meanwhile, public sector banks surged over 2%, with Union Bank of India advancing more than 4% to drive gains in the sector.

Public sector companies were benefiting from a gap in valuation with respect to other stocks, said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets.

Metal stocks also rose over 2%, with Coal India jumping as much as 13% to its highest since January last year, helped partly by soaring coal prices.

Advance tax figures for certain metal companies have added to expectations of robust earnings in the future quarters and were driving sentiment, Gandhi added.

Real estate stocks rebounded from the previous day’s drop to end higher for the sixth time in seven sessions.

(Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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