Bank stocks under stress
Benchmark indices on Wednesday ended flat as investors resorted to profit booking in banking and finance stocks as the monetary policy committee (MPC) began a three-day meeting even as the Supreme Court resumed hearing on petitions seeking interest waivers on loans under moratorium.
Investor sentiment, however, was positive as the UK approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.
The Sensex saw some volatility as it opened at a record 44729.52. However, profit booking saw the gauge hitting a low of 44169.97. The index closed at 44618.04 — down 37.40 points or 0.08 per cent.
The Nifty edged up to a fresh closing record amid profit-booking in financial stocks and muted global cues. It finished marginally higher by 4.70 points, or 0.04 per cent, to end at a fresh closing record of 13113.75.
Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said its subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure Investments has acquired an additional 4.94 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel for Rs 2,882.32 crore.
With this transaction, Bharti Airtel’s total direct and indirect stake in its mobile tower arm Infratel has increased to 41.66 per cent, according to a regulatory filing.
Banking and finance stocks bore the brunt of profit selling ahead of the RBI policy announcement this Friday. While the RBI is expected to widely hold the policy repo rate, it is expected to take some liquidity absorption measures. Observers are divided on the guidance that will given by the interest rate setting panel.
Market mavens point out that stocks are set to touch higher ground on robust FPI inflows and more good news on the Covid vaccine front.