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India: benchmarks retreat third consecutive session

Indian stock indices turned in negative performance on Tuesday, February 20, mostly under pressure from losses in private banking names. Meanwhile, state-owned banks corrected higher after a multi-session decline amid a corruption scandal at a major lender.

Recapping the benchmarks, the Nifty 50 slipped 0.17% to 10,360.40, and the BSE Sensex closed 0.21% lower at 33,703.59.

By 10:41 GMT, the USD/INR currency pair firmed 0.42% to 64,786, while EUR/INR traded up 0.31% to 79.9672. The 10-year Indian government bond yield widened to 7.640%.

The session’s outperformers included Vedanta (+2.6%), Dr. Reddy’s (+0.5%) and Airtel (+0.9%). On the other side of the ledger were Aurobindo (-1.4%), Indiabulls HF (-1.1%) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (-0.8%).

The country’s second-largest lender Punjab National Bank reversed to the upside in late trading, closing up 0.13% after a four-day losing streak sparked by reports of a fraud investigation at one of its branches.

In the private banking segment, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank shed 0.8% and 1.6%.

IT names were well bid, with Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Infosys gaining 0.7%, 0.5% and 0.5%, respectively.

The daily chart shows that the BSE Sensex is trading near the lower line of Bollinger bands, while the Slow Stochastic Oscillator is hovering next to oversold territory. As a result, a corrective upturn can be expected in the short term.

$SENSEX, BSE Sensex / D