The Indian stock market ended lower on Wednesday, extending their losses to a third successive session, due largely to weak global cues and on a lack of fresh triggers from the domestic front.
Though select blue chips edged higher on short-covering ahead of near month derivatives contracts expiry, the overall mood was mostly cautious amid lingering concerns about the near term economic outlook.
The BSE benchmark Sensex ended the day with a loss of 62.24 points or 0.33% at 18,632.17, nearly 60 points off the day's low of 18,573.18. The broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed with a loss of 10.45 points or 0.18% at 5663.45, around 25 points off the day's low of 5638.65.
Bharti Airtel ended nearly 4% down. Coal India, Hindalco and Tata Motors lost 2% - 2.8%. Dr Reddy's Laboratories ended lower by a little over 1.5%, while Tata Steel, HDFC, ONGC and HDFC Bank drifted down by 1% - 1.2%.
Cipla ended stronger by 2.7%. Hero Motocorp and State Bank of India gained 1.6% and 1.5%, respectively. ITC ended higher by a little over 1%. Wipro, GAIL India, Relaince Industries and Bajaj A uto also posted notable gains.
Cement stocks ACC and Ambuja Cements gained nearly 4% on sustained buying support. Axis bank moved up by 2.2%. Punjab National Bank, Ranbaxy Laboratories, HCL Technologies and BPCL gained 0.4% - 1.2%.
Metal, PSU and capital goods stocks drifted lower on profit taking. Stocks from power and information technology stocks too were mostly subdued. Automobile and bank stocks recovered after a setback and ended well off their lows.
Cement stocks had a good outing with investors indulging some brisk buying in that space, amid hopes of a pick-up in construction activity in the country. Select oil, realty, healthcare and FMCG stocks found modest support. While midcap stocks mostly moved in a tight range, several smallcap stocks rallied smartly.
The market breadth was even at close. On BSE, 1446 stocks moved up and an identical number of stocks closed weak. 119 stocks ended flat.