The Indian equity benchmarks declined for second straight session on Wednesday dragged by losses in Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, Tata Consultancy Services and Bharti Airtel. The Sensex fell as much as 378 points and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 17,900. For most part of the day, benchmarks traded in a narrow band with a negative bias, however, they extended losses in afternoon trading after selling pressure in banking shares intensified.
The Sensex ended 314 points lower at 60,008 and Nifty 50 index fell 101 points to close at 17,899.
The dollar jumped on Wednesday, as strong U.S. retail sales data fuelled bets on earlier Federal Reserve rate hikes, while shares in Europe made slim gains after Asian markets had wobbled on worries about COVID-19.
With inflation running high, the data boosted expectations of a rate hike as early as mid-2022. Investors also said the data could encourage the Fed to accelerate the tapering of its asset purchase programme.
Back home, nine of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty Realty index’s 1.6 per cent decline.