Sensex drops over 150 pts ahead of RBI board meet


 The BSE benchmark Sensex Monday fell over 150 points, led by weakness in auto, IT and financial stocks amid heavy selling by foreign institutional investors, as investors turned cautious ahead of RBI's board meet.

The 30-share index, after rising over 100 points, fell 158.94 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 35,650.01. Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 44.45 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 10,679.95.

According to traders, investors were cautious ahead of RBI's board meeting.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is scheduled to address the customary post-budget meeting of the central board of the Reserve Bank later in the day, and highlight the key points of the interim Budget, including the fiscal consolidation roadmap.

The meeting, according to sources, will take a call on the interim dividend to be paid to the government during the current fiscal.

Yes Bank fell up to 5 per cent after the private bank, in a regulatory filing Friday, said it had received a letter from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which noted that the risk assessment report (RAR) was marked 'confidential'.

It was expected that no part of the report be divulged except for the information in the form and manner of disclosure prescribed by regulations, the RBI letter said, adding that the issuance of a press release has, therefore, been viewed seriously by the RBI and could entail further regulatory action/s.

Other losers on the Sensex pack include HCL Tech, HUL, Bajaj Auto, TCS, Reliance, Bajaj Finance, Asian Paints, M&M and Bharti Airtel, falling up to 1.68 per cent.

While, NTPC, Vedanta, Tata Steel, ONGC, SBI, L&T, PowerGrid, ITC and Sun Pharma were the top gainers, rising up to 2.24 per cent.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold shares worth a net of Rs 966.43 crore on Friday, while domestic institutional investors were net buyers to the tune of Rs 853.25 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rallied 1.67 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.79 per cent higher, Kospi gained 0.73 per cent, and Japan's Nikkei soared 1.78 per cent in early trade.

On Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.33 per cent higher on Friday.

The rupee, meanwhile, was trading depreciated 13 paise against US dollar to 71.36.

The benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 0.09 per cent to USD 66.19 per barrel.

Source: PTI

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