Weak global cues weighed heavy on Indian shares that came under selling pressure for the third consecutive day on February 18, dragging the Nifty below the crucial 15,150-mark.
At close, the Sensex was down 379.14 points or, 0.73 percent, at 51,324.69 and the Nifty was down 89.90 points, or 0.59 percent, at 15,119.
“The market remained in the mood for consolidation for the third day, impacted by negative cues from Asian markets. Globally, markets are showing weakness due to a spike in US bond yield, while improving corporate earnings and continued inflow of foreign funds is providing support to the domestic market,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
A bearish rally in the market was led by private banks and auto stocks, while PSU banks continued their outperformance on hopes of privatisation, he said.
Among sectors, the PSU bank index rallied more than 5 percent, while IT and metal indices rose 1.3 percent each. However, the auto index shed 1.3 percent and FMCG and pharma indices, too, ended in the red.
Broader markets outperformed the main indices, with BSE midcap and smallcap indices added 0.6 percent each.
Bajaj Finance, Nestle, Kotak Mahindra Bank, M&M and Shree Cements were among the major losers on the Nifty, while the gainers included ONGC, GAIL, BPCL, IOC and NTPC.
Stocks & sectors
On the BSE, selling was seen in auto, bank, healthcare and realty sectors. The oil & gas index rose 4 percent and the power index added 2.8 percent.
A volume spike of more than 100 percent was seen in IGL, Mahanagar Gas and GMR Infrastructure.
Long buildup was seen in GMR Infra, BHEL and ONGC, while short buildup was seen in ICICI Bank, Cummins India and Eicher Motors.
More than 250 stocks, including NBCC, J&K Bank and Karnataka Bank, hit a fresh 52-week high on the BSE.
The Nifty formed a bearish candle on the daily scale and continued forming lower highs-lower lows for the last two trading sessions.
“The Nifty has to cross and hold above 15,150 zones to get a stability and an up move towards 15,400-15,500 zones, while on the downside, major support can be seen around 15,000 and 14,900 zones,” said Chandan Taparia of Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
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