Shares of SBI, PNB, BOB among other major PSBs (public sector banks) fell up to 6% in the late afternoon trade on Tuesday as Sensex slipped into negative territory sinking over 100 points. Shares of India’s largest lender by assets State Bank of India tanked as much as 2.3% to the day’s low of Rs 295.6; the stock of Punjab National Bank tumbled 4% to the day’s low of Rs 165.1; shares of Bank of India fell over 4% to the day’s low of Rs 155.55 while the stock of Bank of Baroda plummeted 4.5% to the day’s low of Rs 156.2. Indian stock markets took a breather on Tuesday after the trade deficit spiked to a 3-year high level following a sharp rise in imports. The difference between imports and exports rose about 41% to $14.88 billion in December as the imports of crude oil and gold increased the bills.
Other PSU bank shares such as Union Bank of India, Indian Bank, Andhra Bank, Canara Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Syndicate Bank, Allahabad Bank and IDBI Bank plunged up to 6% with the stock of IDBI Bank losing the most. The benchmark PSU bank index of National Stock Exchange Nifty PSU Bank shed as much as 102 points or 2.8% to 3,543.7. Other than PSU bank, shares of metal, real estate, auto and FMCG also came under sell-off pressure.
Only IT sector stocks were trading higher continuing the morning rally with shares of TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and HCL Technologies hitting their respective 52-week highs. The benchmark IT index of National Stock Exchange Nifty IT also surged to 52-week high levels following a sharp rise in the underlying components. Shares of India’s largest IT company and Tata group’s cash cow Tata Consultancy Services rose as much as 3.67% to a 52-week high of Rs 2,847 while the stock of second largest IT firm Infosys shot up 2.48% to the 52-week high of Rs 1,108 on NSE.
The Indian rupee tumbled to a three-week low slipping as much as 44 paise against the US dollar on Tuesday as concerns over trade deficit widening to a three-year high jolted the investor sentiments. The rupee opened marginally weak, down by 11 paise at 63.60 against the previous close of 63.49 per dollar. In the afternoon session, the rupee shed as many as 44 paise to hit a three-week low of 63.93 apiece US dollar. In the morning trades today, the rupee plummeted 26 paise against the US dollar at the interbank foreign exchange market. The Reserve Bank of India fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 63.4125 against the US dollar on Monday.
Meanwhile today, India’s stock market fell into negative territory in the afternoon trades after starting on a positive note with Sensex and Nifty tripping up to 0.5% following a sell-off in heavyweight shares of companies such as Reliance Industries, ITC, HDFC, SBI, Tata Motors and Tata Steel. BSE Sensex was trading or 0.2% lower at 34,776.64 while NSE Nifty was trading down 0.35% at 10,704.5. Shares of FMCG giant Hindustan Unilever rose about 1.6% to a 52-week high of Rs 1,389 ahead of its Q3 earnings due tomorrow.