Markets rattled on RBI measures; Sensex down 183 pts as banks hit

Markets rattled on RBI measures; Sensex down 183 pts as banks hit Mumbai: Snapping a three-day rally, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday fell by over 183 points pulled down by banking and financial sector stocks, including ICICI Bank, SBI and HDFC, after Reserve Bank's steps to quell rupee's volatility sparked concerns of rate hikes.

The 30-share index commenced the day's trade weaker by a whopping 368 points from its previous close at 19,665.57. It, however, trimmed some of the losses during the day and closed lower by 183.25 points, or 0.91 percent, at 19,851.23.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 75.55 points, or 1.25 percent, to close at 5,955.25. Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, closed 85.33 points, or 0.71 percent lower at 11,854.7.

Brokers said the trading sentiment, mainly in banking and financial sector stocks, was dampened after RBI announced a slew of measures to curb rupee's volatility late last night, including hiking the lending rates for banks and sucking up of Rs 12,000 crore, to make the currency dearer.

This also raised concerns of RBI increasing interest rates in its first quarter monetary policy review later this month, they said, adding that a weakening trend in the overseas markets as German investor confidence unexpectedly dropped, also hit the trading sentiment.

Meanwhile, rupee appreciated by a hefty 68 paise to 59.21 against the dollar intraday today.

Out of the 30 Sensex components, 17 stocks ended in the red led by country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank tanking 5.61 percent to Rs 1,003.20, followed by country's largest lender SBI (4.57 percent) and mortgage major HDFC (3.88 percent).

Among major losers from the banking pack on the BSE were YES Bank (9.78 percent), Oriental Bank of Commerce (8.95 percent) and Canara Bank (8.64 percent).

Sectorwise, interest-rate sensitive realty sector index suffered the most, falling 5.84 percent to 1,457.29, followed by bankex (4.83 percent to 12,821.09) and capital goods (2.23 percent to 9399.05).

PTI