Financials lead slide in Indian shares ahead of Powell’s testimony

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Bengaluru (Reuters) – India’s Nifty 50 and Sensex stock indexes declined on Tuesday, led by a slide in high-weightage financials as caution prevailed across global equities a day ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony.

The blue-chip Nifty (.NSEI) index fell 0.24% to 18,711 as of 10:05 a.m. IST, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) lost 0.32% to 62,963.33.

Eight of the 13 major sectoral indexes declined with financials losing 0.5%.

Broader indexes outperformed their larger peers with the midcaps (.NIFMDCP100) little changed and smallcaps (.NIFSMCP100) gaining 0.2%.

“Multiple factors such as mounting Chinese growth fears, anxiety ahead of Powell’s testimony and delayed monsoon have spurred caution,” said Prashanth Tapse, senior vice president (research) at Mehta Equities.

Asian markets fell on worries that China’s latest rate cut was not enough to boost economic growth. Wall Street equities were closed on Monday for a federal holiday.

Powell is scheduled to deliver congressional testimonies on monetary policy on Wednesday and Thursday. Traders are pricing in a nearly 75% chance of a 25-basis points rate hike by the Fed at its July meeting, after a pause in June. FEDWATCH

Among individual stocks, IIFL Securities (IIFS.NS) lost 15% after India’s market regulator banned its stockbroking unit from onboarding any new client for two years, citing alleged misuse of client funds.

Hero MotoCorp (HROM.NS) lost over 1% and was among the top Nifty 50 losers. The two-wheeler maker’s shares have fallen for five sessions in a row amid the corporate affairs ministry’s probe into alleged diversion of funds. Hero MotoCorp was the top loser in auto index (.NIFTYAUTO) as well, which fell 0.5%.

On the other hand, HDFC Asset Management Company (HDFA.NS) gained over 7% on media reports that said UK’s abrdn plc (ABDN.L) will sell shares in the company.

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