Markets on Thursday failed to carry forward the three-day winning momentum as the benchmark Sensex slipped almost 23 points to end at 24,469.57 due to across-the-board sell-off and monthly derivatives expiry.
There were bouts of volatility in between, which saw engineering, banking, auto and IT stocks come under pressure.
After starting lower, the Sensex closed at 24,469.57, down 22.82 points, or 0.09%.
The index gained 530.18 points in the last three sessions.
The broader Nifty ended lower by 13.10 points, or 0.18%, at 7,424.65.
Selling in view of the January series futures and options expiry, depressed corporate numbers so far and mixed global leads all ganged up against markets, brokers said.
At the conclusion of its policy meet, the US Fed kept the door open for more interest rate hikes this year despite the lingering global economic uncertainty, which added to the anxiety level.
L&T plunged 2.72%, Axis Bank 2.06%, BHEL 1.97%, Adani Ports 1.86% and HDFC Ltd 1.67%.
Stocks of Bharti Airtel and ICICI Bank too lost 2.32% and 1.69%, respectively, ahead of their quarterly numbers later in the day.
Other big losers were Hero MotoCorp, Tata Steel, Wipro, Tata Motors, Cipla, Infosys, Maruti Suzuki and HDFC Bank.
Helped by covering-up of short positions, a few stocks such as Hindustan Unilever, M&M, ITC Ltd, RIL and Sun Pharma bucked the trend and ended higher by up to 3.02%, which cushioned the fall.
“The Fed kept interest rates unchanged and acknowledged that the US economy was slowing down... expiry of derivative contracts weighed on the sentiment of the Street,” said Gaurav Jain, Director, Hem Securities.
In Asia, the benchmark Shanghai Composite sank 2.92%, the third straight loss, despite Chinese central bank’s huge cash injection into the financial system.
Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.71%, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.75%.
Foreign portfolio investors remained net sellers as they sold shares worth Rs 366.93 crore on Wednesday, provisional data showed.
Sector-wise, capital goods suffered the most by losing 1.72%, followed by banking (0.91%), consumer durables (0.82%) and auto (0.42%).
Selling pressure also dragged down the BSE mid-cap index by 0.36% and small-cap index by 0.04%.