Mumbai: Benchmark indices tumbled on Wednesday, as bears targeted large caps across the board. Renewed speculation about early general elections, a dismal services PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) reading for March, and absence of institutional buying support aggravated the fall in the last hour of trade.
The BSE Sensex ended the day at 18801.64, down 239.31 points over its previous close. The Nifty fell 75.20 points to close at 5672. With this fall, indices have more than given up the gains of the last two sessions.
Realty, capital goods, auto and metal shares were among the worst performers, while pharma and FMCG shares managed to hold ground as investors sought safety in defensive sectors.
Auto stocks are major laggards after disappointing monthly sales numbers announced this week.
Shares of Adani Power led the rally in the power sector Tuesday, after a favourable verdict from the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) on tariff hike.
Adani Power closed around 9 per cent higher at Rs 47.65.
Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, L&T, Tata Motors, HUL, Reliance Industries and ONGC were among the big losers of the day, shedding 2-4 per cent.
Talk in the market is that foreign-owned exchange traded funds are pulling money out of India.
Midcaps fared comparatively better than frontline shares, with the decline not being as steep. Brokers say there is not much buying from local traders, most of whom are still licking the wounds suffered during the recent carnage in midcaps.