Sensex ends in red after late sell-off; scales 56,000 in intra-day trade

BSE Sensex turned negative to end 162.78 points or 0.29% lower at 55,629.49; NSE Nifty declined 45.75 points or 0.28% to 16,568.85

Equity benchmark Sensex dropped 163 points in a volatile session on August 18, tracking losses in index majors ICICI Bank, HDFC and Kotak Bank amid mixed cues from global markets.

After scaling a lifetime high of 56,118.57 during the session, the 30-share index turned negative to end 162.78 points or 0.29% lower at 55,629.49.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty declined 45.75 points or 0.28% to 16,568.85. It touched a record intra-day peak of 16,701.85.

Kotak Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 2%, followed by ICICI Bank, PowerGrid, HDFC, IndusInd Bank and Axis Bank.

On the other hand, UltraTech Cement, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Nestle India and Bajaj Auto were among the gainers.

“Domestic benchmark indices, after witnessing record high, gave up all gains and fell to negative territories as selling pressure in heavyweight financials especially private banks dragged market,” said Binod Modi, Head – Strategy at Reliance Securities.

Heavyweight HDFC Bank witnessed brisk rebound after RBI allowed the bank to issue fresh credit cards, but closed lower due to profit booking.

In addition to financials, metals, auto and realty stocks also remained under pressure, he noted.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended with gains.

However, equities in Europe were trading on a negative note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.90% to $69.65 per barrel.

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