The Indian equity benchmarks fell for fourth session in a row on Wednesday as investors looked to the U.S. Federal Reserve for signs on the pace of tapering. Information technology and financial services heavyweights such as Infosys, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Tata Consultancy Services and Bajaj Finserv were among the top drags in the markets lower during the session. The Sensex fell as much as 445 points at the day’s lowest level and Nifty 50 briefly dropped below its important psychological level of 17,200.
The Sensex fell 329 points to close at 57,788 and Nifty 50 index 104 points to closet at 17,221.
Investors were looking for clues on when the Fed will stop buying assets and start raising interest rates, while a rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant also weighed on sentiment.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 15 sector gauges, barring the measure of auto shares, ended lower led by the Nifty Realty index’s nearly 2 per cent fall. Nifty IT, PSU Bank, Metal, Financial Services, and Oil & Gas indices also fell between 0.7-1.2 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares also witnessed selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 0.6 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index declined 0.39 per cent.
Among the individual shares, One97 Communications parent company of digital payments firm Paytm — plunged as much as 13.22 per cent as a lock-in period for its anchor investors ended on Wednesday. The stock touched an intraday low of Rs 1,297.70 in early trade.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 1.5 per cent to close at Rs 3,570. Titan, Divi’s Labs, HCL Technologies, Tata Steel, HDFC, Power Grid, HCL Technologies, Power Grid, Britannia Industries, Grasim, Infosys, SBI Life and Dr Reddy’s Labs also fell between 1-2.7 per cent.
On the flipside, Sun Pharma, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Consumer Products and NTPC were among the gainers.