Indian equity benchmarks ended a volatile session mildly lower on Wednesday as gains in financial stocks were offset by losses in IT and automobile shares. Selling pressure in largecap stocks such as Reliance Industries, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys weighed on the indices. Weakness across global markets on concerns about global growth also hurt investors' sentiment.
The S&P BSE Sensex index declined 29.2 points to end at 58,250.3, and the broader NSE Nifty50 benchmark slipped 8.6 points to settle at 17,353.5.
Among blue-chip stocks, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Power Grid, Grasim, BPCL, Coal India, NTPC and Titan -- closing between 1.3 percent and 3.6 percent higher -- were the top gainers.
On the other hand, Divi's Labs, Nestle, Wipro, SBI Life, Hindalco, Maruti and Bajaj Auto -- down between 1.2 percent and 2.4 percent -- were the worst hit among the 22 laggards in the Nifty50 universe.
Strength in broader indices helped the market avoid deeper losses. The Nifty Midcap 100 and Smallcap 100 gauges rose 0.5 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.
Most banking stocks moved higher, lifting the Nifty Bank
index 0.8 percent. Kotak Mahindra Bank closed 3.6 percent higher, while HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank rose 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent respectively.
Oil India, JSW Energy, Adani Transmission, Alok Industries and KEI Industries -- rising between 4.9 percent and 6.9 percent -- were among the top gainers in midcap and smallcap gauges. Navin Flourine, Prestige, Oberoi Realty, Birlasoft and Welspun, falling between 2.2 percent and 3.1 percent, were among the top losers.
Textile company shares such as Grasim, Arvind, Bombay Rayon Fashions and Trident and KPR Mill rose between 1.3 percent and 5.9 percent after the Union Cabinet approved a Rs 10,683-crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme
for the sector.
Overall market breadth was in favour of bulls with an advance-decline ratio of 3:2, as 1,812 shares rose and 1,366 fell on BSE.
Meanwhile, European stocks dropped, with the Europe-focused STOXX 600 index dropping 1 percent in early trade. The index was on course for its biggest single-day decline in three weeks. Investors awaited a European Central Bank meeting for clues on tapering plans. S&P 500 E-Mini futures were flat, indicating a muted start ahead on Wall Street.
Earlier in the day, Asian equities halted an eight-day-long winning streak.