The benchmark BSE Sensex fell by 51.56 points on Wednesday as banking stocks dropped on caution ahead of the unveiling of a new methodology for calculating base rates amid a mixed trend in global markets on worries over a US rate hike.
Further, weaker-than-expected auto monthly sales numbers and depreciation in the rupee dampened the sentiment, said Gaurav Jain, director of Hem Securities.
The gauge opened higher on sustained buying and advanced to the day’s high of 26,256.42, however, profit-booking in the later half of the day dragged it into the negative zone to touch the day’s low of 26,041.68.
It recovered part of the lost ground in the fag-end trading and settled the day 51.56 points or 0.20% lower at 26,117.85.
The index had risen by 393.66 points in the last four sessions.
The 50-share NSE Nifty ended 23.55 points or 0.30% down at 7,931.35 after moving between 7,979.30 and 7,910.80.
Banking shares bore the brunt after Reserve Bank on Tuesday said it will shortly announce methodology for determining the base rate, taking into account the marginal cost of funds.
From this space, major losers were SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank, falling by up to 1.83%.
Other losers, which also contributed to the fall include BHEL, Infosys, HDFC, Tata Motors, Coal India, HUL, L&T, Wipro and Hero MotoCorp. Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 14 ended with losses, while Vedanta ended flat.
Lupin, Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki, Cipla, Dr Reddy’s, Bajaj Auto, RIL, Hindalco, ITC, GAIL and NTPC cushioned the fall to some extent.
Sector-wise, the BSE Banking index suffered the most by losing 1.03%, followed by IT (0.86%), capital goods (0.71%), PSU (0.61%) and consumer durables (0.15%).
Aided by persistent buying orders from retail investors, the broader markets outperformed the Sensex with the mid-cap and small-cap indexes rising 0.20% and 0.01%, respectively.
Globally, Asian markets ended mixed and European markets rose to a three-month high after inflation data reinforced the case for further central bank stimulus.