The Indian equity benchmarks extended losses in afternoon trading dragged by selling pressure in private sector banking shares like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC and Kotak Mahindra Bank. The benchmarks opened on a flat note and fell in late morning deals ahead of the weekly expiry of index futures and option contracts. The Sensex fell as much as 426 points to hit an intraday low of 51,277.59 and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday low of 15,099.40.
As of 1:10 pm, the Sensex fell 336 points to 51,368 and Nifty 50 index dropped 84 points to 15,131.
“Nifty formed lower top lower bottom formation on Feb 17 after the recent rise, raising concerns about the rally getting tired. However an equal advance decline ratio on a negative day means that some bottom fishing has happened in stocks that have corrected over the last few days. 15112-15170 could be the next support band for Nifty. On rise 15340 could act as a resistance,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research, HDFC Securities.
Shares of natural gas producers and suppliers rallied in trade on Thursday a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government is committed to bring natural gas under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Shares of Gujarat State Petronet rose 13 per cent, Indraprastha Gas rose 8 per cent, GAIL India climbed 7 per cent, ONGC advanced 6 per cent and Petronet LNG gained 3 per cent. The index of oil & gas shares on the BSE – S&P BSE Oil & Gas index was top sectoral gainer, the index climbed as much as 636 points or 4.25 per cent.
State-run banking shares rallied for third day in a row paced by gains in Indian Overseas Bank’s 20 per cent gain. Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of India and Uco Bank also rallied between 8-19 per cent. PSU Banks are gaining on privatisation buzz.
On the flipside, private sector banking stock were facing selling pressure dragging the Nifty Bank index by more than a per cent.
Shree Cements was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 2.6 per cent to Rs 27,535. ICICI Bank, Bajaj Finance, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC, Nestle India, HDFC Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero MotoCorp and Larsen & Toubro also fell between 1-2 per cent.
On the other hand, NTPC, Indian Oil, Asian Paints, Coal India, Power Grid, BPCL and Hindalco were among the gainer.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,594 shares were trading higher while 1,232 were declining on the BSE.