Posting its first drop in three sessions, Indian markets fell 1.54 per cent on Tuesday as investors booked profits in banks and capital goods stocks, while the sentiment was also hit after exports shrank in January for a 14th straight month.
The BSE Sensex, earlier backed up by a firming trend in Asian markets and Monday’s strong performance, succumbed to profit-booking and ended at 23,191.97, down 362.15 points or 1.54 per cent. The gauge had gained 602.29 points in the last two sessions. The NSE Nifty closed lower by 114.70 points or 1.60 per cent at 7,048.25.
The sentiment took a hit after country’s exports dipped for the 14th month in a row, down 13.6 per cent in January to $21 billion due to fall in petroleum and engineering goods shipments, even as trade deficit showed improvement. The decline was led by SBI which fell 6.49 per cent. Bank of India declined 4.30 per cent and Bank of Baroda 6.13 per cent. Market watchers expect more skeletons to tumble out of the banks’ cupboards after the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the RBI to provide a list of companies which are defaulters of bank loans of over Rs 500 crore while expressing serious concern over the rise in bad loans.
Dipen Shah, senior vice-president, Kotak Securities, said, “Markets reversed a large part of Monday’s gains on the back of renewed concerns over the banking sector. The fall in markets came under pressure despite the supporting global markets and higher crude prices. “
Jayant Manglik, president, retail distribution, Religare Securities, said, “Nifty failed to build on Monday’s rebound and lost over 1.5 per cent on Tuesday. The first half of the session was dull and selling emerged mainly in the second half. Bank shares, mainly PSBs, reacted sharply to the fall, which was later followed by other sectors as well.”