Sensex and Nifty decline for second consecutive session driven by banking stocks

India’s equity benchmarks fell slightly for the second straight session as caution prevailed among investors ahead of the outcome of key meetings of world leaders taking place in Brussels. The US president and other NATO members are meeting to discuss further action against Russia in the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, analysts have said. Benchmarks erased intraday gains in morning trades and traded limited with a negative bias for most of the day.

The Sensex fell 89 points to close at 57,596 and the Nifty 50 index slipped 7 points to close at 17,239.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy called on people around the world to come together in public on Thursday to show their support for his beleaguered country as he prepared to address US President Joe Biden and other leaders of the NATO gathered in Brussels on the occasion of the first month of the Russian invasion.

At home, bank stocks like Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and HDFC were among the main drags on the Sensex. Losses were capped, however, due to equity investments in Reliance Industries, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Dr Reddy’s Labs and ITC.

Seven of 15 sector indicators compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower, led by declines of nearly 2% in the Nifty Private Bank and Bank indices. The Nifty Financial Services, PSU Bank and Consumer Durable indices also closed lower.

On the other hand, the Nifty Media index jumped 5% thanks to the 20% rise of Zee Entertainment.

Mid and small cap stocks outperformed their larger counterparts, with the Nifty Midcap 100 Index rising 0.6% and the Nifty Smallcap 100 Index rising 0.4%.

Among individual stocks, Zee Entertainment jumped 20% to an intraday high of Rs 307 after its major shareholder Invesco Developing Markets Fund decided yesterday not to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to add six independent directors, because Zee’s merger with Sony will achieve the fund’s goal of strengthening board oversight.

Dr Reddy’s Labs was Nifty’s top earner as the stock rose 4.7% to close at Rs 4,322. Coal India, UltraTech Cement, Hindalco, JSW Steel, Cipla, NTPC, Tech Mahindra, Reliance Industries and Tata Steel took also increased by 1 to 2%.

On the other hand, Kotak Mahindra Bank fell 3% to close at Rs 1,715 following a report that the Canada Pension Scheme Investment Board (CPPIB) was selling around 2.02% stake. form the bank. The floor price was set between Rs 1,681 and 1,769.75.

Titan, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Divi’s Labs, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Consumer Products, BPCL and Eicher Motors also fell between 1 and 2%.

The overall market breadth was negative as 1,939 stocks ended lower while 1,446 closed higher on BSE.

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