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Markets end lower as banking stocks drag

Markets end lower as banking stocks drag
Markets ended the day lower on profit booking in frontline stocks, following reports of RBI Governor tempering expectations of an interest rate cut.

The Sensex ended the day lower by 169 points, while the Nifty shed 54.75 points in trade today. Among the shares that lost ground today were Tata Motors, which shed gains following lower then expected sales volume for December. Bajaj Auto too lost ground on profit taking despite the company's FY 13 Q3 results meeting expectations.

Technology stocks like Infosys lost ground, while TCS and HCL Technologies gained. Among the other stocks that rallied was Reliance Industries, which gained on hopes of better Q3 earnings and an increase in gas prices.

Metal stocks, however, saw heavy selling pressure with Jindal Steel, Tata Steel and Hindalco leading the declines from the pack.

Banking stocks were the worst hit in trade today, following comments from RBI Governor Subbarao tempering expectations of a rate cut. PSU banking stocks tanked with Indian Overseas Bank dropping almost 3 per cent, while other stocks like Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, Syndicate Bank, State Bank of India and Union Bank of India also lost ground.

Pharma stocks saw gains with Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Glenmark ending the day higher.

Among non index stocks Arshiya International was locked at the 5 per cent lower end of the circuit filter again today. Yes Bank which reported a decent set of numbers for Q3 FY 2013 saw profit booking in line with most other banking stocks.

Shares of Deccan Chronicle shed 5 per cent, following reports that the National Stock Exchange will suspend trading in the company from January 23.

Meanwhile, markets in Asia ended the day mixed, while most of Europe was trading with losses, including the UK's FTSE, the German DAX and the French CAC.

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