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Markets end lower; banking stocks drop as cobra stings

Markets end lower; banking stocks drop as cobra stings
Markets ended the day lower led by sharp decline in private sector banking stocks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank all of which have been allegedly linked to money laundering by online portal - Cobrapost.

The Sensex ended the day lower by 153 points (provisional), while the Nifty shed 36 points in trade. Joining the private sector banking names among the losers list were Tata Motors, Reliance Industries, Jindal Steel, Maruti Suzuki, ONGC, Larsen and Toubro and Bharti Airtel.

IT stocks once again witnessed a resilient trend with TCS, Infosys and HCL Tech ending the day steady. Among the gainers from the Nifty were BPCL, Coal India, HDFC, Hero Motor Corp and IDFC.

Among non index losers was NALCO, which shed 8 per cent after the government stake sale in the company ended successfully today.

Aanjaneya Lifecare dropped 5 per cent after the company said that it will mull the issue of FCCBs issue of USD 75 million on March 18.

Realty stocks came in for some heavy selling pressure with India's largest real estate developer dropping almost 4 per cent in trade. Other notable losers from the space were Anant Raj, Indiabulls, Prasvnath and Unitech.

Metal stocks too came in for heavy selling pressure with some of the losers in the space including

Steel Authority of India, Jindal Steel and Jindal Saw.

Meanwhile, shares across the globe rallied for a 2nd week in a succession on hopes that a economic recovery in the US has gathered steam.

Markets are now likely to continue to take cues from around the globe, despite the fact that Indian markets have under performed this year.

All eyes would now be on the credit policy to be unveiled by the Reserve Bank of India on March 19, pinning hopes on a rate cut to buoy sentiments.

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