The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes fell for third session in a row on Monday as investors’ were seen lightening their positions ahead of the presentation of Union Budget on February 1 in a holiday-curtailed week, analysts said. For most part of the day, the benchmarks fluctuated between gains and losses however, sharp selling in banking shares led to markets cracking in the last hour of trade. The Sensex fell as much as 603 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday low of 14,218. The markets will remain closed tomorrow on account of Republic Day.
The Sensex ended 531 points or 1.1 per cent lower at 48,348 and Nifty 50 index dropped 133 points or 0.93 per cent to settle at 14,239.
Reliance Industries, HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HCL Technologies Asian Paints and IndusInd Bank were among the top drags on the Sensex.
Selling pressure was visible across sectors as sixteen of 19 sector gauges compiled by the BSE ended lower led by the S&P BSE Energy index’s over 4 per cent decline. Industrials, information technology, utilities, oil & gas, power and auto indices also ended lower between 1-2 per cent.
On the other hand, pharma and metal indices managed closed higher on the BSE.
Mid- and small-cap shares also witnessed selling pressure as S&P BSE MidCap and S&P BSE SmallCap indices fell over 1 per cent each.
Reliance Industries was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 5.6 per cent to close at Rs 1,935 after the operator behind the world’s largest refining complex reported a 30 per cent drop in its oil-to-chemicals division.
IndusInd Bank, HCL Technologies, Tata Motors, Eicher Motors, Asian Paints, UltraTech Cement, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil and Adani Ports were also among the losers.
On the flipside, Grasim Industries gained 6 per cent to close a record high of Rs 1,063 after the company’s board approved foraying into paints business.
UPL, Cipla, Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank, JSW Steel, Bajaj Auto and HDFC Bank were among the notable gainers.