Mumbai | Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty declined for a third day on Wednesday dragged by selling in IT and select banking shares amid weak global trends and FII outflows.
The 30-share BSE Sensex closed lower by 159.21 points or 0.27 per cent at 59,567.80 as 21 of its components ended in the red . During the day, the index fell 274.29 points or 0.45 per cent to 59,452.72.
The broader Nifty dipped 41.40 points or 0.23 per cent to settle at 17,618.75 with 31 of its shares closing with losses.
Analysts said stock markets are in a consolidation phase after a record nine-day winning run to April 13 which saw benchmark Nifty soaring by 5.7 per cent and Sensex by 4.73 per cent.
Sensex and Nifty have corrected by around 1.4 per cent in the three straight sessions of losses to Wednesday following poor commentary by major IT companies.
Among the Sensex firms, HCL Technologies fell the most by 2.4 per cent. IndusInd Bank (2.35 per cent), Infosys (2.28 per cent), Wipro (1.8 per cent), NTPC (1.71 per cent), Asian Paints (1.7 per cent), Tata Consultancy Services (1.36 per cent),Tech Mahindra (1.03 per cent) and SBI (1 per cent) were among the major laggards.
Axis Bank was the lead Sensex gainer, rising by 1.05 per cent. Bharti Airtel, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance and Reliance Industries also advanced.
"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.
"Tepid cues from the global peers are also creating havoc as the market prices in the possibility of another rate hike by the Fed," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Ajit Mishra, VP - Technical Research, Religare Broking Ltd said that markets settled marginally lower in a dull trading session, in continuation to the prevailing consolidation phase.
In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge gained 0.12 per cent, while midcap index fell marginally by 0.18 per cent.
Among sectoral indices, IT fell by 1.68 per cent, and teck declined by 1.48 per cent, while power (1.13 per cent), utilities (0.97 per cent), capital goods (0.30 per cent) and services (0.29 per cent) also dropped.
Metal, energy, healthcare, oil & gas and realty were among the winners.
Global stock markets mostly declined as investors took a wait-and-see stance ahead of earnings reports and possible moves by central banks.
In Asian markets, Japan, Shanghai and Hong Kong settled lower, while Seoul ended in the green. Equity markets in Europe were trading mostly in negative territory. The US markets had ended mostly lower on Tuesday.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) offloaded equities worth Rs 810.60 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data.
Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude fell 2.23 per cent to USD 82.88 per barrel.