The Indian equity benchmarks opened lower in trade on Wednesday on the back of subdued global cues. Global stocks slipped from record levels on Tuesday, with investors cautious as the Federal Reserve kicked off its two-day policy meeting and US lawmakers continued to debate a new stimulus plan. Those concerns overshadowed impressive results from a slew of companies, including from General Electric and Johnson & Johnson, which had earlier pushed the S&P 500 to a record high. The Sensex fell as much as 304 points and Nifty 50 index dropped below psychological level of 14,200.
As of 9:20 am, the Sensex dropped 275 points to 48,106 and Nifty 50 index fell 79 points at 14,160.
Asian equities slipped on Wednesday as investors looked to the Federal Reserve’s guidance on its monetary policy while futures for US tech shares jumped after strong earnings from Microsoft.
MSCI’s gauge of Asian ex-Japan shares slipped 0.3 per cent, dragged lower by profit-taking in resource shares as some investors have grown wary of stretched valuations.
Back home, nine of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Pharma and Auto indexes’ over 1 per cent declines. Metal, real estate, PSU banking, media and financial services shares were also witnessing selling pressure.
On the other hand, select IT and FMCG shares were witnessing buying interest.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes dropped 0.8 and 0.5 per cent each respectively.
Tata Motors was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 4.2 per cent to Rs 267. Hindalco, Indian Oil, Eicher Motors, Hero MotoCorp, JSW Steel, Reliance Industries, Tata Steel, Dr Reddy’s Labs, IndusInd Bank, Asian Paints, Bajaj Finserv and Sun Pharma also fell between 1–2 per cent.
On the flipside, Larsen & Toubro was among the top Nifty gainer, the stock rose as much as 2.28 per cent to Rs 1,392 after its net profit rose 5 per cent to Rs 2,467 crore in December quarter.
Wipro, Tech Mahindra, UPL, Adani Ports, Britannia Industries, HCL Technologies, UltraTech Cement, ITC and Nestle India were also among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1,335 shares were declining while 728 were advancing on the BSE.