The Sensex and the Nifty50 halted a four-day winning streak on Wednesday amid weakness in financial and IT shares, though strength in oil & gas names limited the downside.
Indian equity benchmarks finished lower on Wednesday after four back-to-back sessions of gains, as selling pressure in financial and IT shares outweighed buying interest in oil & gas stocks. Investors globally awaited a GDP reading from the world's largest economy due later in the day amid fears of a slowdown.
Both headline indices recovered about three-quarters of their intraday losses following a gap-down start. The Sensex gyrated within a range of more than 600 points during the session, before setting with a cut of 150.5 points for the day.
A total of 34 stocks in the Nifty50 basket finished the day below the flatline.
Bajaj Finserv, UPL, Wipro, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Titan — falling around two percent each — were also among the top laggards.
Sun Pharma, Coal India, Shree Cement, UltraTech and Bharti Airtel, rising around one percent, were also among the gainers.
Hindustan Unilever, Infosys, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were the biggest contributors to the fall in both main indices.
"Consumer confidence is declining rapidly due to the uncontrolled and constant rise in inflation. India has to bear the double whammy effect of dampening global equity markets and rising crude prices as major suppliers are unable to boost the output in the short term," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Financial stocks — which hold a weightage of 35.7 percent in the Nifty50 benchmark — led the overall market lower. The Nifty Bank and Financial Services indices ended around one percent lower each.
HUL, Tata Consumer, Godrej Consumer, Dabur and Marico led the losses in the FMCG basket after hikes in GST rates on select products.
Overall market breadth favoured the bears, as 822 stocks rose on NSE and 1,220 fell.
The rupee closed lower by 20 paise at 78.97 against the US dollar, taking its loss to nearly six percent so far in 2022.
Equities in European markets began the day in the red mirroring Asian peers, as fears about a global recession overshadowed recent optimism about China reopening after months-long lockdowns. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell as much as one percent in early hours.
S&P 500 futures dipped 0.3 percent, suggesting a muted start ahead on Wall Street.