Indian stock benchmarks fell for the third straight session on Thursday as global sentiment turned weak following aggressive minutes from the US Federal Reserve. The minutes of the Fed’s March meeting revealed that policymakers were increasingly concerned that the economy had increased inflation and the need for tighter monetary policy. Investors also waited for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s bimonthly policy results, which were expected on Friday.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 575 points, or 0.97 percent, to close at 59,035, while the broader NSE Nifty slid 168 points, or 0.94 percent, to settle at 17,640.
Mid and small cap stocks ended weak as the Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 1.02 percent and the small cap lost 0.31 percent.
12 of the 15 sector meters – compiled by the National Stock Exchange – ended in the red. Nifty Consumer Durables and Nifty IT underperformed the index by falling 1.70 percent and 1.25 percent, respectively.
On the stock-specific front, Adani Ports was the top loser as the stock cracked 3.46 percent to Rs 820.45. Titan, HDFC, ONGC and TCS were also among the laggards.
Overall market size was slightly positive: 1,708 shares were up, while 1,703 shares fell on BSE.
On the 30-share BSE index, Titan, HDFC twins (HDFC and HDFC Bank), TCS, Wipro, Reliance Industries, PowerGrid, Bharti Airtel and L&T were among the biggest losers.
The HDFC twins were each up nearly 10 percent on Monday after the merger’s announcement. Both stocks fell for three consecutive sessions after that.
In contrast, Axis Bank, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank, M&M, DR Reddy’s and Tech Mahindra went in the green.