Banking stocks fell on Monday ahead of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sixth bimonthly monetary policy review, scheduled on February 2. Shares of ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Axis Bank and Bank of Baroda were down by 4.43 per cent, 3.45 per cent, 2.49 per cent and 2.15 per cent, respectively, in the late afternoon trade. The benchmark BSE Bankex was down 1.34 per cent at 17,367.
However, YES Bank was trading 3.03 per cent up at Rs 769.40.
Most of market experts believe that the apex bank may hold the rate cut this time. According to a Citi report, the central bank is likely to keep key policy rates unchanged until the budget and go for a 0.25 per cent easing in March or April this year.
DBS also expects the benchmark rates to be kept on hold.
In the last calender year, RBI reduced key policy rates by 1.25 percentage points.
HSBC said it expects RBI to maintain status quo in the forthcoming policy review and wait for the fiscal roadmap presented in the Budget.
(With agency inputs)