Benchmark indices erased early gains to end lower on Wednesday.

Market opened on a positive note amid positive global cues. However, indices erased all early gains later in the day and closed lower, dragged by auto, financials and FMCG.

The BSE Sensex closed at 57,684.82, down 304.48 points or 0.53 per cent. It recorded an intraday high of 58,416.56 and a low of 57,568.59. The Nifty 50 closed at 17,245.65, down 69.85 points or 0.4 per cent. It recorded an intraday high of 17,442.40 and a low of 17,199.60.

Over 1900 stocks decline

The market breadth remained in favour of the decliners with 1,937 stocks declining on the BSE as against 1,461 that advanced while 127 remained unchanged. Furthermore, 13 stocks hit the upper circuit as compared to the 6 stocks that were locked in the lower circuit. Besides, 126 stocks touched a 52-week high level and 30 touched a 52-week low.

Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking Ltd said, “Markets traded lacklustre and lost nearly half a per cent amid mixed global cues. After the initial uptick, the benchmark gradually inched lower as the day progressed and settled closer to the day’s low. The hawkish statement from the US Fed on the possibility of aggressive rate hikes spooked investors. Besides, mixed updates on the lingering geopolitical tension also dented sentiment.”

“The move in the index so far shows consolidation after two weeks of rebound and it’s healthy. However, the prevailing uncertainty on the global front combined with the lack of any domestic trigger is keeping the participants on their toes. In such a scenario, we feel it’s prudent to stick with the sectors or themes which are doing well but avoid going overboard,” said Mishra.

Divi’s Lab, Hindalco, Tata Steel, Dr Reddy and UPL were the top gainers on the Nifty 50 while 

Kotak Bank, HDFC, Britannia, Bharti Airtel and Sun Pharma were the top laggards.

Metals shine

On the sectoral front, metals, pharma and oil & gas gained while financials, auto, realty and FMCG dragged.

Nifty Metal was up over 1 per cent at closing. Nifty Pharma and Nifty Oil & Gas closed 0.42 per cent and 0.43 per cent higher, respectively.

Meanwhile, Nifty Auto was down over 1 per cent. Nifty Bank and Nifty Financial Services were down 0.55 per cent and 0.88 per cent respectively. Nifty Private Bank and Nifty PSU Bank were down 0.47 per cent and 0.50 per cent, respectively. Nifty Realty was down 0.35 per cent while Nifty FMCG was down 0.27 per cent.

Broader indices 

In the broader market, midcaps managed to retain gains, outperforming the benchmarks. 

The Nifty Midcap 50 was up 0.52 per cent while the Nifty Smallcap 50 was down 0.04 per cent. The S&P BSE Midcap was up 0.39 per cent while the S&P BSE Smallcap was down 0.02 per cent.

The volatility index rose 2.81 per cent to 24.75.