Domestic stock markets reversed direction to suffer sharp losses on Friday, after the Reserve Bank of India announced a reduction in the key lending rate to a level last seen in 2010. The S&P BSE Sensex index ended 433.56 points - or 1.14 per cent - lower at 37,673.31, and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark settled at 11,174.75, down 139.25 points - or 1.23 per cent - from the previous close. Both benchmark indices closed lower for a fifth consecutive session. A selloff across rate-sensitive sectors dragged the markets lower however mild gains in information technology counters provided some support.
Top percentage losers on the 50-scrip benchmark index were Zee Entertainment, Grasim, UltraTech Cement, JSW Steel, Titan and Kotak Bank, closing between 3.45 per cent and 6.42 per cent lower. HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank weighed the most on the Sensex.
The Sensex jumped as much as 296.67 points to hit 38,403.54 at the day's strongest level in the first half of the session, but reversed direction after the RBI released Monetary Policy Committee's decision.
The RBI has now cumulatively lowered interest rates by 135 bps this year, but said that "transmission has remained staggered and incomplete".
The central bank lowered its economic growth projection for the current financial year to 6.1 per cent, from 6.9 per cent in August. The RBI said it expects the GDP to expand 5.3 per cent in the second quarter and 6.6-7.2 per cent in the second half of 2019-20.
Nine of 11 sector gauges compiled by NSE ended lower led by the Nifty Bank Index's 1.9 per cent fall. Nifty Financial Services, Nifty FMCG, Nifty Media, and Nifty Private Bank indexes also dropped between 1.4-1.7 per cent each.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1,121 shares ended lower while 657 closed higher on the NSE.