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India: benchmarks kick off the week in the red

The Indian stock market logged mild losses on Monday, February 19.

Asia markets saw light trading today, taking into account the fact that in the US market is closed for Presidents' Day, while trading floors in Hong Kong and mainland China are closed for the Lunar New Year.

Bank names led the decline, dragged down by news of large-scale fraud in Punjab National Bank.

Recapping the benchmarks, the Nifty 50 fell 0.71% to 10,378.40, while the BSE Sensex eased 0.69% to 33,774.66.

In the blue-chip universe, Tata Steel, Larsen & Toubro, Bharti Airtel and ITC stood out among the worst performers, plunging 1-6%. Hindalco, Vedanta, Yes Bank were the session’s top advancers.

The USD/INR currency pair rose 0.22% to 64.545. The 10-year government bond yield remained unchanged at 7.583%.

Punjab National Bank tanked 7.4% against the backdrop of an investigation in one of its offices.

Pennar Industries added 1.2% on news of two large orders.

Steel maker Bhushan Steel skyrocketed 19.8%, driven by excitement over a potential deal on the acquisition of a distressed company by competitors who recently lined up to make offers.

From a technical standpoint, the Sensex has retreated to the 33,780-33,810 support line. Given the position of the stochastic lines, the index may rebound in the short term.