Equity benchmarks nursed losses on Tuesday after four days of gains, largely in tandem with overseas markets which tumbled after surging commodity prices stoked inflation fears.
Profit-booking in banking, finance and metal counters further weighed on bourses, traders said. The 30-share BSE Sensex opened on the backfoot and stayed in the negative territory throughout the session, ending 340.60 points or 0.69 per cent lower at 49,161.81.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slumped 91.60 points or 0.61 per cent to close at 14,850.75.
Kotak Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 3 per cent, followed by HDFC, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Finance, Titan, Bajaj Finserv, HUL and Axis Bank.
On the other hand, NTPC, ONGC, PowerGrid, Sun Pharma, UltraTech Cement and SBI were among the gainers, climbing up to 4.60 per cent.
‘Rising commodity prices, like international steel price, are at a record high which has instilled a fear in the world market of rising inflation. Global markets are retreating in anticipation of future interest rates hikes, in which the technology sector will be heavily impacted as it has benefitted the most during a pandemic. ”Indian metal stocks witnessed mild profit booking while buying interest is seen in PSE stocks,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
China inflation data also weighed on sentiments. However, domestic benchmark indices outperformed its Asian peers today, said Binod Modi, Head Strategy at Reliance Securities. Sectorally, BSE metal, finance, bankex, IT and teck indices lost up to 1.07 per cent, while utilities, oil and gas, power, energy and industrials indices advanced as much as 2.74 per cent. Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices outperformed the benchmark, rallying up to 0.80 per cent.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended on a negative note, while Shanghai finished with gains.
Stock exchanges in Europe were trading with significant losses in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.66 per cent lower at USD 67.87 per barrel. The rupee pared its early losses to close almost flat at 73.34 against the US dollar. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net buyers in the capital markets, as they purchased shares worth Rs 583.69 crore on Monday, as per provisional data.