After a firm start, the markets reversed course by noon on profit booking at higher levels. The benchmark index that touched a high of 16,871 in intra-day deals shed 0.8% or 141 points to trade at 16,643 levels.
In broader markets, the Nifty lost 29 points and is hovering at 5,020 levels in noon deals.
Leading the pack of losers among the BSE 30 scrips is ICICI Bank. The counter slipped 3.6% or Rs31. Tata Steel, State Bank of India, Satyam Computer, Larsen and Toubro, HDFC, Bhel and Bharti Airtel are some of the other notable losers.
Among sectoral indices, the banking index, BANKEX, is the worst hit that skidded around 2.5% on fears that RBI, seeking to rein in inflation from three-year highs above 7%, would tighten policy further at its 29 April review after last week’s move to increase banks’ reserve requirements.
Key losers in this space include HDFC Bank, Federal Bank, Centurion Bank of Punjab and Axis Bank. They lost over 2% each. Union Bank, Punjab National Bank, Andhra Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce are also trading in negative turf besides ICICI Bank.
Profit booking is also visible in select metal scrips. Tata Steel, Sterlite Industries, SAIL, JSW Steel, Jindal Stainless and Hindalco are the top losers in this category.