Sensex ends 87 pts lower; financial stocks drag

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Mumbai, Mar 22 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex declined 87 points on Monday, tracking losses in index majors HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries amid a weak trend in global markets.

After slumping over 570 points in mid-afternoon trade, the 30-share BSE index recovered some lost ground to end at 49,771.29, down 86.95 points or 0.17 per cent.

On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty dipped 7.60 points or 0.05 per cent to 14,736.40.

IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 4.33 per cent, followed by PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finance and SBI.

On the other hand, Tech Mahindra, TCS, Sun Pharma, Infosys and HCL Tech were among the gainers.

Global markets reeled and the Turkish lira plunged to near record lows after President Tayyip Erdogan unexpectedly replaced the country's central bank governor, shocking investors and stoking fears of capital controls.

'Indian markets opened weak with marginal decline following mixed to negative cues from its Asian market peers as investors watched the weakening Turkish lira and fears of rise in cases due to COVID virus which increased volatility in markets.

'During the afternoon session, the markets extended their losses and sentiments were dented due to major dampener in the form of fast-rising COVID-19 cases... Restricted economic activity in these regions may impact the optimistic growth projections for FY22,' said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi.

Strong buying was seen in IT, FMCG and pharma space, while financials and automobiles witnessed selling pressure.

'Notably, investors lapped-up quality midcap and small cap stocks after recent corrections in these spaces,' said Binod Modi, Head - Strategy at Reliance Securities.

BSE bankex, finance, consumer durables, energy, telecom and auto indices fell up to 1.51 per cent, while realty, IT, FMCG, teck, basic material and healthcare rose as much as 2.86 per cent.

In the broader markets, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices climbed up to 0.99 per cent.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo were in the red, while Shanghai ended on a positive note.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a weak note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.20 per cent lower at USD 64.40 per barrel.

The rupee appreciated 15 paise to close at 72.37 against the US dollar on Monday, driven by foreign fund inflows and easing crude oil prices. PTI ANS ABM ANS ABM ABM