Retreating for the third session in a row, the benchmark BSE Sensex fell over 213 points to more than two-week low of 27,039.76 on Wednesday as investors remained cautious ahead of the conclusion of the US Federal Reserve’s meeting.
Besides, caution before the expiry of October series contracts in the derivatives segment tomorrow, influenced sentiments.
Although the Federal Reserve is likely to keep interest rates unchanged, investors are looking forward to clues on the timing of a widely expected rate hike.
In last three days, the Sensex has lost 431.05 points.
Globally, Asian markets traded mixed while European bourses were higher in early trade.
Back home, market sentiments, which were already muted on disappointing Q2 earnings by some bluechip companies, were affected by offloading of positions by some investors to raise funds to subscribe to InterGlobe Aviation’s Rs. 3,018-crore initial public offer, the biggest in nearly three years.
The 30-share BSE Sensex opened a shade lower at 27,131.71 and fell further to hit a low of 26,919.96 on across-the-board losses, mainly in banking, power and realty stocks.
The index finally settled 213.68 points, or 0.78 per cent, down at 27,039.76, its weakest closing since October 15.
The broader 50-share NSE Nifty dipped below the crucial 8,200-mark, by plunging 61.70 points, or 0.75 percent, to close at 8,171.20 after shuttling between 8,209.10 and 8,131.80 during the day.
Among prominent Sensex losers were Axis Bank, (down 7 per cent), the most in two months, on asset-quality concerns, while ICICI Bank fell 4.30 per cent, its four-week low.
Out of the 30-Sensex constituents, 19 ended lower.
Bucking the trend, Cipla, Bharti Airtel, ONGC, Tata Motors, Hindustan Unilever, Wipro, Tata Steel, Infosys, Vedanta and HDFC Bank ended up to 1.64 per cent higher.
Sectorwise, the BSE Banking index suffered the most by falling 2.53 per cent, followed by Power (1.48 per cent), Realty (1.24 per cent), PSU (0.76 per cent), Auto (0.65 per cent) and Healthcare (0.50 per cent).
The broader markets also showed weakness with the BSE mid-cap index ending 0.55 per down while the small-cap fell 0.01 per cent.