The Indian equity benchmarks fell for second straight session on Wednesday dragged by losses in banking and financial services shares. The Sensex fell as much as 556 points at the day’s lowest level and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday low of 17,608. However, the markets staged a partial recovery in afternoon deals on the bank of buying interest in power, metal, PSU Banking and pharma shares. HDFC, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank were among the top drags on the Sensex.
The Sensex fell 254 points to close at 59,413 and Nifty 50 index declined 37 points to close at 17,711.
“The market is facing downward pressure given the negative global cues. We had turned cautious after the indices moved up quite a bit recently with Sensex touching a high of 60,000. While the domestic story of economic recovery and reducing risks on the COVID-19 front remains intact, the unfolding debt crisis at China Evergrande Group and impending start of tapering by US Fed, have resulted in unfavourable risk reward scenario. Also, the valuations of Indian stocks have increased significantly with the P/E ratio of Nifty 50 Index crossing 27 times, which is another critical factor to remain cautious in the markets right now,” said Mohit Ralhan, managing partner and chief investment officer of TIW Private Equity.
Seven of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty Private Bank index’s over 1 per cent fall. Nifty FMCG, Financial Services, Auto and Bank indices also fell around 0.5 per cent.
On the other hand, Metal, PSU Bank, Realty, Oil & Gas, Pharma and Healthcare indices rose between 1-2.6 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares outperformed their larger peers as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 1.04 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 0.41 per cent.
HDFC was top Nifty gainer, the stock fell 2 per cent to Rs 2,747. Kotak Mahindra Bank, Asian Paints, UltraTech Cement, Eicher Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Hindustan Unilever, Tech Mahindra, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank and Larsen & Toubro also fell between 1-1.8 per cent.
On the flipside, NTPC, Coal India, Power Grid, Sun Pharma, Indian Oil, Hindalco, State Bank of India, JSW Steel, ONGC, Cipla and Bharat Petroleum were among the top Nifty gainers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,918 shares ended higher while 1,361 closed lower on the BSE.