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Sensex down 118 points; banking stocks hit

Mumbai (PTI):Continuing its losing streak, the BSE benchmark Sensex today further lost over 118 points in early trade as banking stocks slumped after international rating agencies downgraded the debt rating of the nation’s top three public sector lenders.

The 30-share index, which lost 745.68 points in the previous two sessions, fell further by 118.18 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 19,782.78.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty declined by 34.75 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 5,855.00.

Brokers said sentiment dampened further after international rating agencies — Moody’s and Fitch– yesterday downgraded the debt rating of the country’s top three public sector banks — State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National bank — citing worsening credit quality and recapitalisation concerns.

Besides, a weak trend in the Asian region also triggered selling on the domestic bourses, they said.

The BSE banking index suffered the most by falling 1.48 per cent to 11,458.48 with stocks of SBI declining by 2.75 per cent, Bank of Baroda by 2.35 per cent, Punjab National Bank by 2.59 per cent, ICICI Bank by 0.64 per cent, HDFC Bank by 1.03 per cent and Yes Bank by 1.73 per cent.

Meanwhile, in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index down by 1.08 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.70 per cent in early trade.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.32 per cent lower in yesterday’s trade.

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