Indian markets on Wednesday fell for the sixth day on the trot with benchmark Sensex falling by about 50 points to end at over nine-week low of 28,111.83 on losses in PSU bluechips including NTPC, GAIL, Coal India and SBI.
Caution ahead of the expiry of March month Futures and Options (F&O) contracts on Thursday and portfolio churning in the view of fiscal year ending next week weighed, traders said.
The 30-share index 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 BSE Sensex touch the session's low of 28,031.42.
The barometer closed with a fall of 49.89 points, or 0.18%, at 28,111.83.
The gauge has lost 624.55 points in six consecutive sessions.
Wednesda'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% down, followed by GAIL, L&T, Coal India and SBI that fell between 2-3% range.
In the 30-Sensex constituents, as many as 18 counters ended in negative zone while and 11 led by ICICI Bank, Wipro, Sesa Sterlite, M&M and Axis Bank rose and ITC ended flat.
Shares of Tata Motors gained 1.5% after auto major today fixed price for proposed Rs 7,500 crore rights issue.
In the broader market, IPCA Laboratories slumped 12.55% after import alerts were issued by the US drug regulator against two of its formulations manufacturing units.
The 50-share NSE Nifty lost 12.15 points, or 0.14%, to settle at 8,530.80 -- its lowest level since January 15.
In six days, it has now lost over 190 points. A better trend in other Asian markets and higher opening in Europe also failed to buoy sentiments here.
Sectorwise, the BSE Capital Goods index suffered the most by losing 1.65%, Power (down 1.17 pc), Metal (down 0.97 pc), Oil&Gas (down 0.56 pc), Banking (down 0.30 pc) and Realty (down 0.20%).
The BSE Smallcap index fell 0.67% while the Mid-cap index ended 0.48% 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 on Tuesda.