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Markets start on tepid note as investors turn cautious over minutes of RBI's policy meet

File photo of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai. Photograph:( Reuters )

PTI Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Feb 22, 2019, 09.56 AM (IST)

Benchmark indices started on a negative note Friday as investors turned cautious after the release of the minutes of RBI's last policy meet, in which governor Shaktikanta Das argued the need to look at growth concerns.

Besides, subdued cues from other Asian markets too weighed on investor sentiment here.

The BSE Sensex was trading 75.24 points, or 0.21 per cent, lower at 35,823.11. Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 25.95 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 10,763.90.

In the previous session, the 30-share index settled 142.09 points, or 0.40 per cent higher at 35,898.35. The broader Nifty gained 54.40 points, or 0.51 per cent, to 10,789.85.

Top losers in the Sensex pack in morning trade include Kotak Bank, Tata Steel, L&T, RIL, Axis Bank, NTPC, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, HDFC and ITC, falling up to 3.39 per cent.

On the other hand, Yes Bank, Sun Pharma, Maruti, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, M&M, Bharti Airtel and SBI rose up to 1.63 per cent.

According to traders, investor sentiment turned weak after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Thursday released the minutes of its last monetary policy meet.

The central bank's Monetary Policy Committee has noted the "weakened growth momentum" amidst inflation cooling off to lower the key policy rates to create a "congenial environment" for growth as the reasons for the surprise rate cut earlier this month.

In his debut policy review as RBI governor Shaktikanta Das argued that there was a need to look at growth concerns.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 202.10 crore, and foreign institutional investors (FIIs) also bought shares worth a net of Rs 55.48 crore on Thursday, provisional data available with BSE showed.

Domestic investors also tracked weak cues from global markets, traders said.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.26 per cent, Kospi fell 0.28 per cent, and Japan's Nikkei shed 0.42 per cent; while Shanghai Composite Index was trading 0.03 per cent higher in early trade.

On Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.40 per cent lower at 25,850.63 points on Thursday.

The benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.28 per cent to $66.88 per barrel.

The rupee, meanwhile, was trading almost flat at 71.23 against the US dollar in early session. 

Story highlights

Top losers in the Sensex pack in morning trade include Kotak Bank, Tata Steel, L&T, RIL, Axis Bank, NTPC, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, HDFC and ITC, falling up to 3.39 per cent.