sensex today: Losses in bank stocks drag Sensex 400 points lower; Nifty nears 21,650

Benchmark equity indices saw heavy selling pressure in the afternoon session on Monday as losses in bank stocks outweighed gains seen in IT and pharma counters. The broader market indices witnessed deeper cuts, with smallcap and midcap indices down 2% each.

BSE Sensex fell over 600 points but recouped losses later to trade nearly 400 points lower at 71,227. Meanwhile, Nifty was at 21,650, down over 100 points.

“Investor caution prevails after the Reserve Bank of India’s uninspiring monetary policy commentary last week and worries of delay in U.S. rate cuts,” said Prashant Tapse, senior vice president of research at Mehta Equities.

The RBI doused hopes of early rate cuts and projected elevated inflation for fiscal 2025 in its policy decision on Thursday.

Paytm shares traded 3.6% higher in early trade after the fintech firm approved the formation of a group advisory committee on compliance and regulatory matters.

Honasa Consumer (Mamaearth) shares rose nearly 10% after the company reported 265% growth in its consolidated net profit to Rs 26 crore for the quarter ended December.

Experts Take
“With S&P 500 closing above 5000 for the first time, support from the mother market augurs well for the bulls. But the bears are likely to take cues from the rising US bond yields (10-year yield is at 4.17%) which normally triggers big selling from FIIs. So the tug of war between the bulls and the bears is likely to continue,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.

“Apart from positive economic cues, a major factor supporting the market is the sustained flows to the market through mutual funds. This can trigger buying on dips and the high market valuations are likely to be sustained for some time,” Vijayakumar said.

Deven Mehata, Research Analyst at Choice Broking, said, “Nifty can find support at 21,700 followed by 21,650 and 21,600. On the higher side, 21,950 can be an immediate resistance, followed by 22,000 and 22,050.

Global Markets
Most Asian markets, including Hong Kong and South Korea, were closed on Monday, while Chinese markets will remain shut for the week.

Wall Street equities advanced on Friday, led by chipmaker Nvidia, which hit a record high after Reuters reported it was building a new business unit.

FII/DII Tracker

Foreign institutional investors bought Indian shares worth Rs 142 crore on a net basis on Friday. Domestic institutional investors sold a net of Rs 422 crore of shares.

Oil Impact
Oil prices fell in early Asian trade on Monday after Israel said it had “concluded” a series of strikes in southern Gaza, slightly easing concerns about supply from the Middle East.

Brent crude futures were down 35 cents, or 0.43%, at $81.84 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were 36 cents, or 0.47% lower, at $76.48 a barrel at 9:44 am.

Rupee Strengthens
The Indian rupee rose 8 paise to $82.99 against the US dollar in early trade. The dollar index, which tracks the movement of the greenback against a basket of six major world currencies, declined 0.07% to 104.03 level.

(With inputs from agencies)

(Disclaimer: Recommendations, suggestions, views and opinions given by the experts are their own. These do not represent the views of Economic Times)

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