Sensex tanks 434 pts as RBI cuts FY20 growth forecast; rate-sensitive stocks drop
Mumbai, Oct. 4 (PTI): Stock market benchmark BSE Sensex plummeted by 434 points on Friday due to heavy losses in banking and FMCG stocks despite a 25 basis point cut in the key policy rate by the RBI which also slashed the growth outlook for this fiscal.
After opening nearly 300 points higher, the 30-share index gave up all the gains to turn negative shortly after the policy announcement by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
After gyrating 770 points during the day, the 30-share Sensex ended 433.56 points or 1.14 per cent lower at 37,673.31. It hit an intra-day low of 37,633.36 and a high of 38,403.54.
The broader NSE Nifty plunged 139.25 points or 1.23 per cent to close at 11,174.75.
During the holiday-truncated week, Sensex plummeted 1,149.26 points or 2.96 per cent, while Nifty declined 337.65 points or 2.93 per cent.
In its fourth bi-monthly policy review of this fiscal, the central bank reduced its benchmark lending rate by 0.25 percentage point to 5.15 per cent to revive growth that hit a six-year low of 5 per cent in the June quarter.
The RBI also lowered its growth forecast for 2019-20 to 6.1 per cent from 6.9 per cent earlier and affirmed commitment to remain accommodative to address growth concerns ‘as long as necessary’.
“Despite the rate cut and the dovish commentary, equity market has reacted negatively, especially banks. That’s because of the RBI’s focus on quick transmission of lower interest rates would put pressure on margins of banks,” Gaurav Dua, Sr VP, Head – Capital Market Strategy & Investments, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, said.
“Also, the economic growth outlook remains concerning despite the 135 bps policy rate cuts in 2019 and there is limited elbow room with RBI now to further take monetary actions to support the economy,” he added.
Vinod Nair, Head Of Research at Geojit Financial Services, commented that despite the RBI’s and the government’s synchronised efforts to offset a slowdown in the economy, investors have taken a pessimistic view due to continued downward revision in GDP estimate and new stress in the banking system.
Top laggards in the Sensex pack included Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, L&T, SBI, Tata Steel and Axis Bank, which dropped up to 3.46 per cent.
On the other hand, TCS, Infosys, ONGC, Tech Mahindra, IndusInd Bank and NTPC rose up to 1.03 per cent.
Rate-sensitive banking stocks faced the heat, with the BSE bankex, finance, auto and realty indices tanking up to 2.45 per cent.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices followed Sensex, shedding up to 0.94 per cent.
Overall market breadth was negative with 1,636 scrips ending with losses and 976 posting gains on BSE. As many as 256 stocks hit their 52-week low levels while 346 scrips hit the lower circuits.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hang Seng and Kospi settled on a negative note, while Nikkei closed in the green. Chinese markets are closed for a holiday.
Equities in Europe were trading lower in early sessions.
Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated 9 paise to 70.97 against the US dollar intra-day.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, advanced 0.78 per cent to USD 58.16 per barrel.