Mumbai: Benchmark indices stayed on the back foot on Tuesday after the previous session’s rout as risk-off sentiment prevailed amid weak global cues and persistent foreign fund outflows.
Lackluster macroeconomic data and the rupee staying near its lifetime low further dampened buying appetite, traders said.
Global investors were in a wait-and-watch mode ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision on Wednesday amid expectations of accelerated rate hikes to cool scorching inflation, they added.
Sliding for the third straight session, the 30-share BSE Sensex dropped 153.13 points or 0.29 percent to settle at 52,693.57 — its lowest since July 30, 2021.
On similar lines, the NSE Nifty declined by 42.30 points or 0.27 percent to end at 15,732.10.
IndusInd Bank was the top loser among Sensex constituents, losing 2.12 percent, followed by Tech Mahindra, Reliance Industries, Maruti, HDFC twins, Asian Paints, and HUL.
In value terms, Reliance Industries and the HDFC duo accounted for most of the benchmark’s losses.
On the other hand, Bharti Airtel topped the gainers’ list with a jump of 1.63 percent. NTPC, UltraTech Cement, M&M, Infosys, Dr Reddy’s, and L&T were among the other gainers, climbing as much as 1.61 percent.
”Domestic market restrained from heavy sell-off as CPI data moderated on a month-on-month basis and this had a calming down effect amidst global volatility.
”However, elevated WPI data continued to dominate the broad market, which is cautious awaiting tomorrow’s outcome of Fed policy,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Retail inflation eased to 7.04 percent in May, mainly on account of softening food and fuel prices as the government as well as the RBI stepped in to control spiralling price rise by way of duty cuts and repo rate hikes, as per official data released after market hours on Monday.
However, wholesale price-based inflation surged to a record high of 15.88 percent in May as crude prices rose and heatwave brought about a spike in prices of vegetables and fruits, strengthening the possibility of a further interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank.
”Markets ended marginally lower in a volatile trading session, in continuation of the prevailing trend. After the soft start, the benchmark made multiple attempts to recover but selling pressure in heavyweights capped the upside till the end.
”Markets are witnessing pressure ahead of the crucial US Fed meet outcome scheduled on Wednesday,” said Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking Ltd.
In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge fell by 0.40 percent and the midcap index dipped 0.16 percent.
Among BSE sectoral indices, energy tanked 1.22 percent, oil & gas declined 1.14 percent, auto 0.52 percent, finance 0.50 percent, and metal 0.47 percent, among others.
Healthcare, industrials, IT, utilities, capital goods, realty, power, and tech logged gains.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Seoul and Tokyo ended lower, while Hong Kong and Shanghai bounced back and settled in the green.
Markets in Europe were trading mostly lower in mid-session deals. Wall Street had ended sharply lower on Monday.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude gained 0.68 percent to USD 123.1 per barrel.
Staging a marginal recovery from its lifetime low, the rupee inched up 1 paisa to close at 78.03 (provisional) against the US dollar on Tuesday amid a weak greenback overseas.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, as they sold shares worth Rs 4,164.01 crore on Monday, as per exchange data.