Stocks consolidated at 4-month highs on Thursday as investors digested the fine print of the central bank's shift in its rates stance and traders booked partial gains in metals and banking shares.
The Reserve Bank of India surprised the market by shifting its stance to `neutral' from `accommodative' as it laid more emphasis on fighting inflationary expectations rather than seeding growth. As a consequence, bond prices, rallying for the past three years, came off highs and yields rose on the 10-year paper.
Meanwhile, the Nifty fell 19 points to quote at 8,749 points, dipping from an intra-day high of 8,820, struck in early deals. Here are the major events of the trading day:
* The Sensex dropped 55 points to 28,234 points on the Bombay Stock Exchange. TCS was the top gainer while Tata Steel lost the most ground. State Bank was the top traded stock by value on the Sensex.
* Hindalco, Bank of Baroda, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank and State Bank lost 1.6-2.5 percent and were among 28 decliners on the Nifty.
* Aurobindo Pharma, Tech Mahindra, Hero Motor, Bharti Infratel and TCS rose 1-1.9 percent and were among 23 stocks that gained ground on the Nifty.
* State Bank, Infosys, Union Bank and Axis Bank were the top traded shares by value as traders concentrated their energies on the banking pack.
* Federal Bank, Mannappuram Finance and Tata Teleservices were present on the list of most active shares by volume.
* DLF, Bharat Forge, Oil India and Divis Labs were among top gainers in the wider market.
* Housing finance companies were under pressure with Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance and Indiabulls Housing succumbing to selling.
* Broader markets saw bit sales across the board with the Nifty 100, 200 and 500 indices dropping nearly 0.2 percent each.
* Sectoral benchmarks were mostly in the red with the PSU banking index dropping the most, down 1.8 percent as bond portfolios took notional losses on RBI's stance.
* The bears made a comeback on Dalal Street where 844 stocks lost ground versus 751 that rose.