The downtrend in markets continued for the third straight day with benchmark Sensex today slipping 209 points to over 1-month low and the Nifty index fell below the key 8,600-mark on selling in heavyweights ahead of quarterly earnings beginning early next month.
Realty, Power, FMCG, Consumer Durables, Healtchare, Auto, Capital Goods, Banking, Metals and Oil & Gas stocks slipped.
The BSE Sensex opened in negative zone 28,465.44 and hovered between 28,484.36 and 28,242.40 before settling at 28,261.08 -- a loss of 208.59 points, or 0.73 per cent, over its previous close. This is its lowest close since February 9.
The bellwether 30-share Sensex has now lost 475.30 points in straight three days. On a weekly basis, this is the second straight weekly loss for the benchmark.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty index lost 63.75 points, or 0.74 per cent, to end below 8,600 mark at 8,570.90 after moving between 8,627.90 and 8,563.
“Markets are awaiting developments on important bills like the Land Acquisition Bill. Moreover, markets are also awaiting the 4Q results, which are expected to be subdued,” said Dipen Shah, Head of PCG Research, Kotak Securities.
NTPC was the top loser among Sensex and Nifty stocks by slumping 6.25 per cent after the company went ex-bonus for its bonus issue of debentures.
Pharma stocks, which have been outperforming the benchmark indices in the past few trading sessions, also came under selling pressure. Sun Pharma and Cipla fell largely succumbing to profit-booking at prevailing levels.
Meanwhile, Foreign Institutional Investors bought shares worth Rs 1,428.72 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
Mixed trends at other Asian markets and a higher opening in Europe also influenced trading here, they added.
Among the 30 Sensex constituents, 21 ended lower while nine led by Wipro, Infosys, Coal India and TCS ended higher.
Stocks of sugar companies sank as prices in the domestic market are currently at over five-year lows. Shree Renuka Sugars fell by 4.49 per cent, Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar by 4.13 per cent, Dhampur Sugar Mills by 4.42 per cent, among others.
Sectorwise, the BSE Realty index suffered the most by losing 3.74 per cent, followed by Power by 2.09 per cent, FMCG by 2.09 per cent, Consumer Durables by 1.93 per cent, Healtchare by 1.52 per cent and Auto by 1.36 per cent.
Selling pressure in small and midcap stocks also pulled down the BSE Small-cap index by 2.14 per cent and Mid-cap index by 1.49 per cent.