The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex fell for the sixth straight session on Wednesday, declining by about 50 points to end at over nine-week low of 28,111.83.
Losses were outsized in PSU bluechips including NTPC, GAIL, Coal India and SBI.
The 30-share index was pulled lower due to caution ahead of the expiry of March month Futures and Options (F&O) contracts and portfolio churning in the view of fiscal year ending next week, traders said.
The Sensex had risen to a day’s high of 28,249.60 in early trade but profit-booking in capital goods, power, metal, oil & gas and banking stocks saw the index touch the session’s low of 28,031.42.
The barometer closed with a fall of 49.89 points or 0.18 per cent at 28,111.83. The gauge has now lost 624.55 points in six consecutive sessions.
Wednesday’s closing is its weakest since January 15 close of 28,075.55.
NTPC emerged as the worst performer among Sensex and Nifty stocks by closing over 3.5 per cent down, followed by GAIL, L&T, Coal India and SBI that fell between 2-3 per cent range.
In the 30-Sensex constituents, as many as 18 counters ended in the negative zone while 11 led by ICICI Bank, Wipro, Sesa Sterlite, M&M and Axis Bank rose.
On the other hand, shares of ITC ended flat.
Shares of Tata Motors gained 1.5 per cent after the auto major on Wednesday fixed price for proposed Rs 7,500 crore rights issue.
In the broader market, IPCA Laboratories slumped 12.55 per cent after import alerts were issued by the US drug regulator against two of its formulations manufacturing units.
Tracking Sensex, the 50-share National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty lost 12.15 points, or 0.14 per cent, to settle at 8,530.80 — its lowest level since January 15.
In six days, the 50-share index has now lost over 190 points.
A better trend in other Asian markets and higher opening in Europe also failed to buoy sentiments in the Indian markets.
Sectorwise, the BSE Capital Goods index suffered the most by losing 1.65 per cent, Power (down 1.17 per cent), Metal (down 0.97 per cent), Oil&Gas (down 0.56 per cent), Banking (down 0.30 per cent) and Realty (down 0.20 per cent).
The BSE Smallcap index fell 0.67 per cent while the Mid-cap index ended 0.48 per cent lower.
Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors bought shares worth a net Rs 737.86 crore, while Domestic Institutional Investors sold shares worth net Rs 631.67 crore Tuesday.