Domestic equity benchmarks the Sensex and the Nifty ended in the red for the third consecutive session on April 19 on losses in shared led by IT and banking heavyweights including Infosys, TCS, ICICI Bank, HCL Tech and SBI.
Global cues were also weak. US markets ended lacklustre overnight and most Asian markets also suffered losses. European markets, too, traded in the red today.
While rate hikes remain a concern for the market, uninspiring March quarter numbers have dealt an additional blow to sentiment.
Investors across the globe expect at least one more hike by the US Fed next month.
After a flattish opening, Sensex traded in the red due to the absence of a positive trigger. The index closed 159 points, or 0.27 percent, lower at 59,567.80 while the Nifty closed with a loss of 41 points, or 0.23 percent, at 17,618.75.
Mid and smallcaps ended mixed. The BSE Midcap index fell 0.18 percent while the Smallcap index rose 0.12 percent.
Even though the market benchmark Sensex ended lower, over 100 stocks, including TVS Motor Company, Polycab India, Zydus Lifesciences, Dr Reddy's Labs and Dalmia Bharat, hit their 52-week highs in intraday trade on BSE.
Oil dropped on Wednesday as the market weighed potential interest rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve that could slow growth and dampen oil consumption, offsetting falling US inventories and strong Chinese economic data, reported Reuters.
Brent Crude traded 2 percent lower near the $83 per barrel mark.
The Indian rupee fell 19 paise to close at 82.23 per dollar as the greenback rose on expectations of at least one more hike by the US Fed.
Top Nifty gainers and losers
As many as 31 stocks ended in the red while 18 rose and one stock - Adani Enterprises - ended flat in the Nifty50 index.
Shares of BPCL, Divi's Labs and Bajaj Auto ended as the top gainers while those of HCL Tech, IndusInd Bank and Infosys ended as the top losers in the Nifty index.
Among the sectoral indices, Nifty IT and Media fell almost 2 percent each.
All components of the IT index ended lower, with shares of Coforge and LTIMindtree falling 3 percent each.
The Nifty PSU Bank index fell by almost a percent. Nifty Bank closed with a loss of 0.26 percent.
Expert's view on markets
"The dark clouds of weak Q4 numbers are haunting the domestic market leading to a consecutive third fall in the week. IT stocks continued their selling spree ahead of the release of earnings from other tech majors," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
"Tepid cues from the global peers are also creating havoc as the market prices in the possibility of another rate hike by the Fed. The biggest risk for the market today is a downgrade in the corporate earnings forecast," Nair said.
Technical views on markets
Jatin Gedia, Technical Research Analyst at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas observed that the Nifty traded within the range of 17,863–17,574 of the penultimate trading session. The hourly Bollinger bands are contracting on account of the sideways price action and are also suggesting rangebound price action.
"Both bulls and bears are trying to defend their respective boundaries. The ideal strategy to trade this sideways consolidation is to take a contrarian view at the extremes of the range," said Gedia.
"Traders should look for signs of strength around 17,500 and go long. During this phase of consolidation, we can expect sector rotation and stock-specific price action. The range of consolidation is likely to be 17,500 – 17,800 for the next few trading sessions," Gedia said.
Key market data
Disclaimer: The views and recommendations given in this article are those of individual experts. These do not represent the views of MintGenie.