While the RBI shocker on interest rates sent many frontline stocks running for cover and made the overall market ignore the impact of key election outcome in Greece, one of the most interest rate sensitive sectors — auto — held its own in the markets on Monday.

This was surprising in view of the fact that the continued rise in interest rates has made auto loans costly and RBI decision to leave repo and CRR rates untouched may not bring any immediate relief to the borrowers.

Major bank stocks in the BSE Sensex such as SBI and ICICI Bank saw significant value erosion. While SBI lost Rs 95.15 to end the day at Rs 2087.65, HDFC Bank was down by Rs 14.85 at Rs 533 and ICICI Bank shed Rs 28.20 to close the day at Rs 816.70.The other major Sensex loser was Dr Reddy’s Lab , down Rs 37.55 at Rs 1,542.90.

But the auto stocks suffered less, and in fact one of the only two gainers from the 30-stock BSE Sensex was Bajaj Auto, the other being Tata Steel.

Hero MotoCorp lost a mere Rs 8.15 to close at Rs 1,991.90 and Maruti Suzuki shed Rs 16.50 to end the day at Rs 1,091.50. Tata Motors was down by just Rs 2.05 at Rs 238 and M&M lost Rs 6.35 to close at Rs 691.05.

But the difference between banking and auto sectors was more pronounced in the NSE Nifty because of larger presence of bank stocks.

While BSE Sensex has three bank and five auto stocks, Nifty has five auto stocks and seven bank stocks.

>ryn@thehindu.co.in

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