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Indian stocks drop record highs as banks, Nestle fall

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A broker reacts by trading on his computer terminal at a brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, December 11, 2018. REUTERS / Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian stocks ended lower on Wednesday after hitting record highs for two consecutive sessions as investors sold off top-tier banks, while consumer goods companies fell after weak Nestle profits .

Strong corporate earnings, advances in COVID-19 vaccinations and a high federal budget pushed Indian stocks up 12% in February, but some investors also took profits from recent winners.

The Nifty finished lower 0.68% at 15,208.90, while the Sensex closed down 0.77% at 51,703.83.

The three biggest problems with the Nifty 50 were HDFC Bank, HDFC mortgage lender, and Kotak Mahindra Bank. The private banking index, which climbed 18% this month, fell 0.95%.

Nestlé India lost 2.8% after its quarterly profit missed the expectations of some analysts. Rival Hindustan Unilever lost 1.5%.

State lenders rose for a second straight session after Reuters reported India had shortlisted four banks for potential privatization.

Shares of lenders – Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of India and Central Bank of India – ended up 20% for a second day in a row.

The ports of Adani and the Special Economic Zone gained 3% after earmarking $ 1.4 billion to develop a new port.

Global equity markets were also significantly weaker on Wednesday.

Report by Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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