The Indian equity benchmarks declined for second straight session on Thursday dragged down by profit-booking in recent outperforming banking and metal shares. For the most part of the day, the benchmarks traded in a narrow band. However, owing to volatility in the last hour of trade ahead of weekly expiry of index futures and option contracts, the benchmarks broke down of the rangebound trading. The S&P BSE Sensex fell as much as 406 points and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 15,000.
The Sensex ended 338 points or 0.68 per cent lower at 49,565 and Nifty 50 index dropped 124 points or 0.83 per cent to close at 14,906.
HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Axis Bank were among the top drags on the Sensex.
Nine of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty Metal index’s over 3 per cent fall. Metal shares came under selling pressure after the world’s largest producer of metals, China, said on Wednesday it would strengthen its management of commodity supply and demand to curb “unreasonable” increases in prices.
Banking, financial services, private bank, CPSE and FMCG indexes also ended with a negative bias.
On the other hand, realty and PSU bank indices ended higher.
Mid- and small-cap shares ended with minor losses as Nifty Midcap 100 index slipped 0.13 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index declined 0.2 per cent.
Tata Steel was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 5 per cent to close at Rs 1,105. Hindalco, Coal India, Britannia Industries, ONGC, Indian Oil, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors, Power Grid, HDFC Bank, Hero MotoCorp, UPL, Tata Consumer Products and JSW Steel also fell between 1.5-4 per cent.
On the flipside, Cipla gained over 2 per cent to close at Rs 925 after it launched Covid-19 detection testing kit. Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharat Petroleum, IndusInd Bank, Titan, Larsen & Toubro, Bajaj Finserv, State Bank of India, HDFC, Infosys and UltraTech Cement were also among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was neutral as 1,661 shares ended higher while 1,425 closed lower on the BSE.