Continuing its fall for the sixth straight session Thursday, the benchmark BSE Sensex dropped 158 points led by losses in IT, metal and energy stocks amid sustained foreign fund outflows and mixed global cues.
The 30-share index, after shuttling between 35,799.42 and 36,109.10, finally settled 157.89 points, or 0.44 per cent, down at 35,876.22. It had lost 840 points in the previous five sessions.
The broader NSE Nifty lost 47.60 points, or 0.44 per cent, to end at 10,746.05. Intra-day, it shuttled between 10,718.75 and 10,792.70.
Selling was more pronounced in oil and gas, IT, metal, PSU and state-run oil marketing company stocks that dragged the key indices into the negative territory.
Energy stocks cracked as fresh concerns about rising crude oil prices resurfaced, with Brent crude oil futures zooming 1.26 per cent, to USD 64.41 per barrel, after Saudi Arabia, world’s top crude exporter, said it would cut crude exports and its production.
Sustained foreign fund outflow and fresh weakness in the rupee against the dollar too impacted domestic market sentiments, brokers said.
Foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net Rs 676.63 crore, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth a net Rs 713.10 crore Wednesday, provisional data showed.
Top losers in the Sensex pack include Bharti Airtel, Infosys, Asian Paints, RIL, Coal India, HDFC Bank, HDFC, TCS, ONGC and M&M, falling up to 3.09 per cent.
On the other hand, Yes Bank was the biggest gainer, rallying 30.73 per cent, after the company said that the RBI has not found any divergence in the asset classification and provisioning done by the lender during 2017-18.
Other gainers include, Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank and Hero MotoCorp, rising up to 3.17 per cent.
Mixed leads from most other Asian bourses accelerated the selling pace, but a higher opening of European shares helped trim losses to some extent.
Meanwhile, inflation based on wholesale prices fell to a 10-month low of 2.76 per cent in January over the previous month on softening prices of fuel and some food items, according to government data released Thursday.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 3.8 per cent in December, 2018, and 3.02 per cent in January 2018.