Sensex down 108 points; auto, banking stocks slump
Mumbai, March 13 : A benchmark index for Indian equities markets was trading in the red for the third straight day Wednesday, due to selling pressure in interest rate sensitive auto, banking and consumer durables stocks.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the negative at 19511.97 points, was trading at 19,456.65 points in the late afternoon session, down 0.55 percent or 108.27 points from its previous day's close at 19,564.92 points.
This is the third consecutive day of decline in the benchmark index. The Sensex had lost 81.29 points Tuesday.
The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was also trading in the negative terrain for the third straight day. The NIFTY was trading 0.68 percent or 40.15 points down at 5,873.95 points.
Interest rate sensitive banking and consumer durables stocks were under selling pressure for the second day after the government data showed an increase in consumer price based inflation dampening hope for interest rate cuts when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reviews monetary policy next week.
Retail inflation measured in terms of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 10.91 percent in February as compared to 10.79 percent in the previous month due to a sharp increase in the prices of vegetables, edible oil and protein-based products, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Tuesday.
Also, industrial output showed better than expected 2.4 percent increase in January.
Continued inflationary pressure and revival in factory output gives rise to the speculation that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) might not ease monetary policy during the review March 19.
The BSE consumer durables index was down 1.36 percent. Auto index was trading 1.27 percent lower and banking index was down 1.11 percent.