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Sensex falls over 200 points, banking stocks drag

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Indian markets reversed early gains to end lower as some banking stocks fell sharply after the Supreme Court asked telecom companies to clear their dues to the government by March 17. The Sensex ended 207 points lower at 41,252 while the Nifty settled 0.5% lower at 12,113.

The Supreme Court today ordered telecom companies to clear dues, sticking to its October decision. Shares of Vodafone Idea, which owes the government about 50,000 crore, slumped 23% following the ruling.

The decision also weighed on the stocks of select banking and financial companies.

The Nifty banking index fell 1.3% today with Indusind Bank, RBL Bank and IDFC First falling over 3% each.

Among the Sensex stocks, HUL, ONGC, HDFC Bank, ITC, Hero MotoCorp and SBI fell between 1% and 2% today.

Earlier in the day, Indian shares opened higher after China’s health officials said the daily death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in Hubei halved and the number of new cases dropped from a record posted the day before.

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