The benchmark Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday fell 202 points, or 1%, to 19,363, its biggest fall in March on fears that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may not cut interest rates amid rising retail inflation. Weakness in global markets also dented sentiments.
The Nifty also lost 1%, or 63 points, to 5,851.
"Weakness in global markets and high CPI inflation numbers released on Tuesday pulled down the market today," said Rajesh Jain, executive vice-president and retail research head, Religare Broking.
"WPI inflation data, which will be released on Thursday is the next important trigger for the market. If inflation number shows a falling trend then chances of rate cut will increase and we may see a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India next week. It will boost the markets."
Hopes of a rate cut by the RBI on March 19 were dimmed after better-than-expected IIP data and rising retail inflation figures were released on Tuesday.
"Sentiments were dented with higher-than-expected inflation numbers," said Rikesh Parikh, vice-president, equities, Motilal Oswal Securities.
The index has lost 321 points, or 1.6%, in the last three-day days.