Sensex dips 230 points; banks, realty slump on RBI move

Mumbai, July 16 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets tumbled 230 points Tuesday due to heavy selling pressure in banking and realty stocks after the Reserve Bank of India announced harsh measures to control the rupee's slide.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the negative at 19,788.09 points, was trading at 19,803.86 points in the afternoon session, down 1.15 percent or 230.62 points from its previous day close at 20,034.48 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 19,827.15 points and low of 19,649.58 points in the intra-day.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading 1.42 percent or 85.70 points down at 5,945.10 points.

There was heavy selling pressure in the interest rate sensitive banking and realty stocks after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiked short-term borrowing rates and put restrictions on banks to access funds.

The central bank's move is expected to drain Rs.12,000 crore cash from the system.

The BSE banking index tumbled 4.59 percent. Realty index dipped 5.4 percent. Capital goods index was down 2.28 percent and metal index was down 2 percent.

Major Sensex losers included ICICI Bank, down 5.54 percent at Rs.1004.00; SBI, down 4.56 percent at Rs.1828.70; Sterlite Inds, down 4.22 percent at Rs.87.35; and HDFC, down 3.91 percent at Rs.816.20.

Only eight of the 30 Sensex scrips were trading in the positive terrain. ONGC, up 1.71 percent at Rs.300.85; Bharti Airtel, up 1.65 percent at Rs.319.90; ITC, up 1.41 percent at Rs.357; and Hindustan Unilever, up 0.82 percent at Rs.618.85 were among the major Sensex gainers.

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