For the third straight day, domestic markets ended weak, as foreign portfolio investors stepped up selling on Wednesday. Despite opening on positive note, benchmark indices slipped as oil & gas, banking and IT stocks continued to undergo selling pressure.

The NSE’s Nifty50 closed below the 16,000-mark for the first time since July 6. After hitting a day’s high of 54,211.22, the 30-share BSE Sensex closed at 53,514.15, a loss of 372.46 points or 0.69 per cent over the previous day’s close. The broader NSE Nifty declined 91.65 points or 0.57 per cent at 15,966.65.

After slowing down their aggressive stance in the last few days, FPIs offloaded shares worth ₹2,839.52 crore, exchanges data has revealed. Domestic institutions, on the other hand, were net buyers to the tune of ₹1,799.22 crore.

Volatility index, India VIX, however, remained soft closing 0.15 per cent lower at 18.52.

Major gainers, losers

Among the Sensex stocks, IndusInd Bank, HDFC, Bharti Airtel, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, TCS, Titan and HCL Technologies were the major laggards. Top gainers include Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, Sun Pharma, Kotak Mahindra Bank, NTPC and Nestle.

Mohit Nigam, Head - PMS, Hem Securities, said: Markets continued to trade in green in the morning session as investor sentiments were uplifted on the back of robust growth in industrial production (IIP) for the month of May at 19.6 per cent. “However, Nifty entered into negative terrain in the afternoon session and slipped below 16000 as rupee hit record low for the third straight day. Investors will be eyeing the US inflation data that is expected to be released today,” he added.

Large caps take beating

Broad market outperformed even as the selling pressure was concentrated in large caps. This is evident from the advance decline ratio of 0.95 and the fact that the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices ended marginally in the positive, said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

Official data released on Tuesday show that retail inflation eased slightly to 7.01 per cent in June but was above the central bank’s tolerance band for the sixth month in a row, signalling more interest rate hikes in future. In May, retail inflation was 7.04 per cent.

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