Markets bore the brunt of a worsening global risk environment as the benchmark BSE Sensex on Wednesday snapped its 2-day rally and fell almost 382 points to close at over a 2-month low of 25,482.52.
In addition, lacklustre September quarterly earnings kept investors cautious, who looked forward to US Fed minutes of the last policy meeting to decide on their future course of action.
Bouts of profit-booking following recent gains and sustained capital outflows dampened stocks further, brokers said.
Hit by heavy selling in blue-chips, the BSE Sensex stayed in the negative zone for most part of the day and closed down 381.95 points, or 1.48%, at 25,482.52 -- a level last seen on September 8.
The 50-share NSE Nifty broke below the 7,800-mark and ended at 7,731.80, down 105.75 points, or 1.35%. A weaker rupee at 66.30 a dollar added to the downbeat mood. “Lingering concerns about earnings and the worsening global risk environment have hit blue chips across the board. The broader market will remain range-bound unless we see clarity on the Fed’s next move,” said Vijay Singhania, founder-director, TradeSmart Online, a leading discount brokerage firm.
Hindalco was the hardest hit as it plunged 5.07%. Technology stocks continued to feel the heat, with the worst-hit BSE IT index down 2.29%. Infosys, which warned of margin pressure in the third quarter on Monday, slumped 3.89% while TCS tumbled over 1.61%.
In a departure from the trend, Coal India surged 0.83% after the Cabinet approved sale of 10% in the company.
The broader markets cut a sorry figure too as the BSE small-cap index edged lower by 0.71% and mid-cap 0.68%. There were heightened fears of selling as foreign investors net sold shares worth Rs 492.45 crore on Tuesday, provisional data showed.
On the global front, Asian markets ended lower, with Shanghai shares sliding by 1.01%. Europe was also down in early trade as investors held themselves back before the release of Fed minutes.