Why Sensex Plunged 660 Points Post RBI Policy

Why Sensex Plunged 660 Points Post RBI Policy

The BSE Sensex plunged over 700 points, while the broader Nifty slumped over 200 points post Reserve Bank's policy announcement on Tuesday. The sharp selloff in stock markets came even though the RBI cut its repo lending rate by 25 basis points to 7.25 per cent. Rate sensitive stocks - banks, auto and realty - were the biggest losers in trade today.

Here are the reasons for the selloff in stock markets today:

1) 25-basis point rate cut discounted: Traders said a 25-basis point cut in repo lending rate was factored in, so the decision failed to lift market sentiments. "RBI policy 25 bps does not move the will head lower from here," tweeted Andrew Holland, CEO of Ambit Capital.


2) Cautious commentary from RBI: Governor Raghuram Rajan's outlook about Indian economy is being interpreted as cautious by economists. What's more the RBI lowered its FY16 GDP growth estimate from 7.8 per cent to 7.6 per cent with a downward bias; it also revised up its inflation projection to 6 per cent by January 2016 due to monsoon risks and higher services tax rate. Dr Rajan also said weak results from corporates suggested "final demand is yet to pick up strongly".

3) Monsoon worries: Dr Rajan said the biggest uncertainty ahead was the outcome of the annual monsoon. His comments came on a day when the government cut this year's forecast for monsoon rains to 88 per cent of the long-term average, raising fears of a drought. Rainfall of less than 90 per cent is considered to be a drought year.

4) Question mark over further rate cuts: This year the RBI has cut repo rate by 75 basis points in three installments. At the start of the year, there was expectation that the central bank would cut rates by 100 basis points or even more thorough the fiscal year that ends in March 2016. Dr Rajan today said that the RBI has front-loaded interest cuts, which means that the central bank may be on an extended pause. According to Nomura, the next rate cut is unlikely to come until end-2016.

R Sivakumar, head of fixed income at Axis Asset Management tweeted, "RBI may be on extended pause now... markets not happy."

5) Pass-through of rates unlikely: The RBI said banks should pass-through the sequence of rate cuts into lending rates, but analysts say rates are unlikely to come down because the RBI did not take steps to free up liquidity.


The Sensex closed 661 points lower at 27,188, while the Nifty declined 197 points to end at 8,236.45.

(With inputs from Reuters)