Domestic stock indices nursed losses for the third consecutive session on Thursday as a lacklustre trend in global equities and concerns over stretched valuations sparked a retreat from risky assets.
Banking and finance stocks bore the brunt of heavy selling, with HDFC twins being the top drags on the Sensex for the second day.
The 30-share BSE benchmark ended 379.14 points or 0.73 per cent lower at 51,324.69. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty dropped 89.95 points or 0.59 per cent to finish at 15,118.95.
Bajaj Finance was the top laggard among the Sensex constituents, declining 2.43 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, M&M, Nestle India, HDFC, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank.
On the other hand, ONGC was the biggest gainer, rallying 8.32 per cent. NTPC, Asian Paints, Tech Mahindra, PowerGrid and IndusInd Bank were among the other winners.
Global markets struggled amid rising crude oil prices, with inflation concerns weighing on risk sentiment.
“Market remained in the mood for consolidation for the third day, impacted by negative cues from Asian markets. Globally, markets are showing weakness due to spike in US bond yield while improving corporate earnings and continued inflow of foreign funds is providing support to the domestic market.
“Bearish rally in the market was led by private banks and auto stocks while PSU Banks continued its outperformance on hopes of privatisation,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Sector-wise, BSE auto, bankex, finance, healthcare and telecom indices fell up to 1.35 per cent, while oil and gas, utilities, power and metal ended with gains.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices outperformed benchmarks, rising as much as 0.69 per cent. Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai ended on a positive note, while bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading in the negative terrain in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.48 per cent to $64.65 per barrel. The rupee pared its initial losses to settle higher by 9 paise at 72.65 against the US dollar.
Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the domestic capital markets, purchasing shares worth Rs 1,008.20 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.