Equity benchmark BSE Sensex resumed its downward march on Wednesday, closing 174 points in the red as risk sentiment remained subdued following a lacklustre start to the earnings season.
Investors were also spooked after US President Donald Trump on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on India over its tariffs on American imports, traders said.
Unabated foreign fund outflows, weak auto sales data and a depreciating rupee further weighed on the bourses, they added.
After swinging nearly 400 points during the day, the 30-share Sensex settled 173.78 points or 0.45 per cent lower at 38,557.04. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty ended 57 points, or 0.49 per cent, lower at 11,498.90, marking its fourth straight day of losses.
Bajaj Finance was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, cracking 4.91 per cent.
Shares of Tata Consultancy Services finished 1.16 per cent lower after the company’s June quarter earnings failed to meet market expectations.
Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, L&T, Hero MotoCorp, M&M, Bajaj Auto and SBI also ended up to 2.94 per cent lower.
Auto stocks fell after SIAM data showed that domestic passenger vehicle (PV) sales declined for the eighth consecutive month in June.
On the other hand, Yes Bank, Sun Pharma, Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank and PowerGrid bucked the weak market trend, rising up to 1.81 per cent.
“Consolidation continued as weak auto sales have dimmed growth expectation while surge in oil prices further impacted the sentiment. Focus remains on the earnings season where the preliminary subdued results in IT stocks have triggered gradual downgrade in earnings expectation,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
All BSE sectoral indices ended in the red, with capital goods, realty, industrials, metal, auto, oil and gas, basic materials and power falling up to 1.65 per cent.
In the broader markets, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices fell 0.75 per cent each.
According to traders, sentiment turned fragile following Trump’s tweet on Indian tariffs.
“India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable!” Trump had tweeted on Tuesday, days after he held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and agreed to sort out trade-related issues.
Later this week, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Energy Secretary Rick Perry are scheduled to address a major India centric conference in Washington DC.
Global markets, meanwhile, were awaiting cues from US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony before the Congress, traders said.
Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai Composite Index and Nikkei ended in the red, while Hang Seng and Kospi settled higher.
Equities in Europe were trading lower in their respective early sessions.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee depreciated 6 paise to 68.57 against the US dollar (intra-day).
The global oil benchmark Brent crude futures surged 1.79 per cent to USD 65.31 per barrel.