Mumbai, Jul 27 (PTI) Equity indices nursed losses after a choppy session on Monday, weighed down by banking stocks which wilted under intense selling pressure on concerns over their asset quality amid the coronavirus crisis.
After starting off the session on a positive note, the 30-share BSE Sensex got caught in a downward spiral and slumped over 500 points from the day's peak. It managed to recover some lost ground and finally settled at 37,934.73, showing a loss of 194.17 points or 0.51 per cent.
Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty closed 62.35 points or 0.56 per cent lower at 11,131.80.
Banking counters led the losses on the Sensex chart, with ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank and SBI dropping as much as 6.11 per cent.
The RBI's Financial Stability Report, released post market hours on Friday, said gross non-performing assets of banks may jump to 12.5 per cent by the end of this fiscal under the baseline scenario, from 8.5 per cent in March 2020, amid the COVID-19 crisis.
HDFC Bank came under selling pressure after it emerged that CEO and MD Aditya Puri, who is set to retire later this year, offloaded shares worth Rs 842.87 crore of the private lender last week.
The share sale brought down Puri's holding in the most valued Indian lender to just 0.01 per cent from the earlier 0.14 per cent, according to regulatory filings.
On the other hand, Asian Paints, HCL Tech, Infosys, TCS, Ultratech Cement and Tata Steel were among the prominent gainers, spurting up to 3.90 per cent.
Asian shares ended mixed on Monday amid concerns over growing US-China friction and fresh coronavirus cases in China and South Korea. European bourses too were trading mixed in early trade.
'Indian benchmark indices ended a volatile day in the red, following negative global cues and domestic uncertainties. Global markets were impacted due to rising US-China tensions and suspected second wave of virus infections.
'Financials led the losses following an RBI report which expected a surge in bad loans this year. Record number of virus infections in India also added to the uncertainty. Investors are advised to remain stock specific and keep accumulating only quality stocks in this scenario,' said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Sectorally, BSE banking index tumbled 3.58 per cent and finance declined 2.5 per cent. Realty, healthcare and consumer durables indices were the other major losers.
Broader BSE mid-cap, small-cap and large-cap indices slumped up to 1 per cent, underperforming the benchmark.
On the forex market front, the Indian rupee ended unchanged 74.83 against the US dollar.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude slipped 0.43 per cent to USD 43.59 per barrel.
Meanwhile, the number of cases around the world linked to COVID-19 has crossed 1.6 crore, with over 6.5 lakh deaths.
In India, the death toll due to the disease is inching towards the 33,000-mark and the number of infections has topped 14 lakh, official data showed. PTI MKJ MKJ ABM ABM