The market ended in the red for the fourth consecutive session, with benchmarks the Nifty and the Sensex falling more than 1.5%.
Sensex opened 574 points lower at 57,525.03 and fell 1,061 points to touch the intraday low of 57,038.24. The Index closed 954 points, or 1.64%, lower at 57,145.22 while the Nifty50 fell 311 points, or 1.80%, to 17,016.30.
Mid and smallcaps bled more as the BSE Midcap index cracked 2.84% while the Smallcap index plummeted 3.33%.
The overall market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms dropped to ₹270 lakh crore from ₹276.6 lakh crore in the previous session, making investors poorer by ₹6.6 lakh crore in a single day.
Concerns over inflation, higher rates and a looming recession kept the markets under pressure. The dollar's steep rise and the rupee's fall also weighed on market sentiment. The rupee ended 63 paise lower at 81.62.
"The soaring dollar as a result of aggressive monetary tightening, slowing economic growth and rising demand from cautious investors are causing turbulence in the global equity market. This is creating mayhem in the domestic market led by weakening rupee, elevated bond yields and pessimistic trends of Asian peers," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services observed.
Shares of Maruti Suzuki, Tata Steel, ITC, Axis Bank, NTPC and Bajaj Finance ended as the top laggards in the Sensex index. HCL Tech, Asian Paints, Infosys, UltraTech Cement, TCS, Nestle and Wipro were the seven stocks that ended in the green.
"Only the IT sector, which exhibited the weakest performance in the last one year, defied the trend in anticipation that the global recession is mostly factored in the price and are trading at reasonable valuations," said Nair.
All sectoral indices suffered strong losses, with BSE Metal and Realty falling more than 4% each. Auto, Utilities, Power, Oil & Gas, Energy and Commodities fell more than 3% each.
"The speed at which central banks across the globe are hiking interest rates has made investors worried that slackening growth would push key economies into recession. With the monetary policy decisions on the anvil, rate-sensitive stocks like banking, realty and auto crumbled badly as rate hikes could dent demand going ahead," Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities, pointed out.
Nifty breached below the key level of 17,000 to touch 16,978.30 in intraday trade but ended above 17,000 due to being in oversold territory.
Chouhan said the 200-day simple moving average (SMA) and 16,850 would act as a key support level. On the flip side, 17,150 and 17,200 could be the immediate hurdle for the bulls, he said.
Om Mehra, a technical associate at Choice Broking observed that open interest (OI) data showed that on the call side, the highest OI was witnessed at 17,300, followed by 17,400 strike prices while on the Put side, the highest OI was at 16,800 strike price
17,250-17,320 will now act as immediate resistance, whereas support is placed around 16,800, said Mehra.
Key market data
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