Indian stocks drop over 1%, led by HDFC Bank, Reliance

By Archishma Iyer

(Reuters) – Indian shares fell 1% on Wednesday in their worst day in two months, led by Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank, whose warning about its asset quality ratios also weighed on other financials.

The Nifty 50 closed 1.2% lower at 19,901.4 points, while the S&P BSE Sensex closed 1.2% down to 66,800.84 points. The benchmarks have fallen for two straight sessions after hitting all-time highs last week.

HDFC Bank, the heaviest weighted stock on the Nifty, slid 4% in its worst day since early May after it said its completed merger with HDFC Ltd would hit key financial metrics, including its margins and bad loan ratios.

Finance stocks overall dropped 1.5%, while bank stocks in particular fell 1.3%. Private bank shares shed 1.2%.

Textile-to-oil conglomerate Reliance, the second-most heavily weighted stock on the Nifty, dropped 2.2% amid multiple block deals, according to LSEG data.

“There has been a negative bearing from HDFC Bank and Reliance. Otherwise, the indexes would have been down by a percentage point,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president of research at SMC Securities.

IT stocks, which are particularly sensitive to U.S. interest rates, fell 0.54% ahead of the Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the day, at which it is expected to hold interest rates steady, but with a hawkish view.

The more locally focussed mid-cap and small-cap companies dropped 0.3% and 0.9%, respectively.

The public sector enterprises index was the only one of the 13 major sectors to gain, climbing 0.17%, led mainly by coal and power stocks, as they continued to rally on expectations of unusually high electricity consumption in October and November.

The bright spots included wires and cables maker RR Kabel, which ended nearly 16% higher on its first day of trading.

(Reporting by Archishma Iyer; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Sohini Goswami)