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The benchmark BSE Sensex ended 144 points lower on Wednesday on profit-booking after banking stocks tumbled on the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) new norms for recognising stressed assets. Punjab National Bank (PNB) fell 9.81% after the state-owned lender said it had detected fraudulent transactions worth $1.77 billion (about Rs 113.35 billion). The RBI abolished half a dozen existing loan restructuring mechanisms and instead provided for a strict 180-day timeline for banks to agree on a resolution plan in case of a default, or else refer the account for bankruptcy. The benchmark BSE index opened higher at 34,436.98 points on positive domestic and global cues. It hit a high of 34,473.43 intra-day but slipped on profit-booking to touch a low of 34,028.68. It finally ended 144.52 points, or 0.42 per cent, down at 34,155.95. The NSE Nifty settled the day at 10,500.90, down 38.85 points, or 0.37 per cent. Data released after market hours on Monday showed a 7.1 per cent growth in industrial output in December on robust performance by manufacturing and capital goods sectors.
Retail inflation, on the other hand, eased marginally to 5.07 per cent in January, after touching a 17-month high of 5.21 per cent in December, on falling food prices.“Strong IIP growth and slowing retail inflation is providing some signs of stabilisation in the economy. However, the broad market witnessed some volatility due to under- performance in the financials.“Public sector banks witnessed a sell-off as the RBI scrapped a number of loan-restructuring schemes, raising concerns of a further rise in provisions,” said Vinod Nair, research head at Geojit Financial Services. Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 8.14 billion on a net basis on Monday, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 13.4 billion, provisional data showed. The BSE mid-cap index rose 0.17 per cent, while small-caps gained 0.16 per cent. Among the BSE sectoral indices, PSU fell the most at 1.80 per cent, followed by banking (1.62 per cent), healthcare (0.69 per cent), power (0.68 per cent), oil and gas (0.34 per cent) and auto (0.30 per cent). However, capital goods rose 0.33 per cent, realty 0.19 per cent and infrastructure 0.12 per cent.