Sensex Falls 276 Points, Nifty Settles Below 16,200; Inflation Data In Focus

Sensex and Nifty extended their fall for the fourth straight session today.
Sensex and Nifty extended their fall for the fourth straight session today.

Indian equity benchmarks on Wednesday extended their fall for the fourth straight session amid choppy trade. The domestic bourses closed weak but off their intraday lows today, led by a recovery in banking stocks. The indices started higher but soon gave up all of their respective gains as investors awaited U.S. inflation data, set to be released later in the day.

The inflation figures would give cues on the Federal Reserve's further rate hike plans.

Back home, the 30-share BSE Sensex slipped 276 points or 0.51 per cent to close at 54,088, while the broader NSE Nifty moved 73 points or 0.45 per cent down to settle at 16,167. Sensex swung in a band of 1,079 points during today's session.

The market sentiment was also weak as participants waited for April's retail or consumer price-based inflation data, due to be released at 5:30 pm on Thursday. CPI inflation may have surged in April, staying well above Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) upper tolerance limit for a fourth consecutive month, a Reuters poll showed.

Mid- and small-cap shares finished weak as Nifty Midcap 100 fell 0.36 per cent and small-cap dived 2.91 per cent.

10 out of the 15 sector gauges -- compiled by the National Stock Exchange -- settled in the red.

On the stock-specific front, Shree Cement was the top loser as the stock cracked 3.30 per cent to Rs 23,499. Bajaj Finserv, L&T, NTPC and BPCL were also among the losers.

The overall market breadth stood negative as 812 shares advanced while 2,581 declined on BSE.

On the 30-share BSE index, L&T, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, NTPC, Infosys, Maruti, PowerGrid, ITC, HCL Tech and Reliance Industries were among the top laggards.

In contrast, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, HDFC twins (HDFC and HDFC Bank), ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bharti Airtel, M&M, SBI and Tata Steel finished in the green.