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Stock markets fall for 3rd day on profit-taking, HDFC Bank major drag

Stock markets fall for 3rd day on profit-taking, HDFC Bank major drag
Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty fell for the third day running on Thursday, dragged by continuous selling in HDFC Bank and profit-taking in consumer durables and utility shares. The 30-share BSE Sensex fell by 313.90 points or 0.44 per cent to settle at 71,186.86. During the day, it tanked 835.26 points or 1.16 per cent to 70,665.50.

The Nifty declined 109.70 points or 0.51 per cent to 21,462.25. During the day, it plunged 286.4 points or 1.32 per cent to 21,285.55.

The heavy fall in the markets comes on the back of a recent record-breaking rally. The BSE benchmark hit an all-time high of 73,427.59 on Tuesday, and the Nifty also reached its lifetime peak of 22,124.15 the same day.

"The benchmark indices exhibited recovery from the day’s low and ended in red amid weak global cues, as investors are trimming bets on rapid FED cuts due to strong US retail sales and the resulting rise in global bond yields. Furthermore, oil price advances and rate escalation risks have led to disruptions in global shipping and crude production. The broader market continued its selling pressure given the elevated valuation and profit booking with an aim for sector rotation," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

Among the Sensex firms, HDFC Bank, NTPC, Asian Paints, Power Grid, Titan, IndusInd Bank, Nestle and Maruti were the major laggards.

HDFC Bank fell over 3 per cent, extending its previous days' huge fall, after the company's December quarter earnings failed to impress investors. The private lender alone contributed 305 points to the fall.

“While markets suffered losses for the third consecutive session, key indices pared losses in the second half amid recovery in European and select Asian indices. Investors will be more watchful about the ongoing earnings season as any stress on quarterly numbers could dampen the sentiment in the near term. A sharp rise in crude oil prices also cautioned investors to trim their positions in banking, IT and power stocks," said Prashanth Tapse, Senior VP (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd.

Sun Pharma, Tech Mahindra, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Axis Bank and Larsen & Toubro were among the gainers.

In Asian markets, Tokyo settled lower while Seoul, Shanghai and Hong Kong ended in the positive territory.

European markets were trading on a mixed note. The US markets ended lower on Wednesday.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth Rs 10,578.13 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.

On Wednesday, the BSE benchmark plunged 1,628.01 points, or 2.23 per cent, to settle at 71,500.76. The Nifty tanked 460.35 points or 2.09 per cent to settle at 21,571.95.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.50 per cent to USD 78.27 a barrel.

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