Mumbai: Indian equity markets closed a shade lower on Tuesday as negative global cues and heavy selling pressure subdued investors' sentiments.
According to market observers, investors remained cautious ahead of the assembly elections results and the outcome of the European Central Bank (ECB) monetary policy review.
However, the downward spiral was arrested by inflows of foreign funds along with a strong rupee.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) slipped by 16.55 points or 0.18 per cent, to 8,946.90 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 29,092.16 points, closed at 28,999.56 points -- down 48.63 points or 0.17 per cent from the previous close at 29,048.19 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 29,098.17 points and a low of 28,957.68 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears -- with 1,687 declines and 1,156 advances.
In contrast, the broader markets outperformed the benchmark indices. The S&P BSE mid-cap index rose by 0.14 percent, while the small-cap index closed a tad up by 0.03 percent.
On Monday, the benchmark indices surged to their new closing-high levels in the last 24 months as investors' sentiments were buoyed after a major breakthrough was achieved on the modalities of implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The NSE Nifty gained 65.90 points, or 0.74 percent, to close at 8,963.45 points, and the BSE Sensex was up 215.74 points or 0.75 per cent at 29,048.19 points.
"Post opening higher, markets ended lower on Tuesday after the rally was seen in the previous session," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
"However, major Asian markets have ended on a positive note, barring the Nikkei and Straits Times, whereas the European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 traded lower."
Market analysts pointed out that investors' sentiments were dented on the back of a likely US interest rate hike during the upcoming US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).
A hike in the US interest rates can potentially drive away Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) from emerging markets such as India.
Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said: "The flurry of central bank announcements, including a possible US rate hike, that lay ahead, has kept bullish vibes reigned in."
"But domestic cues have equally been resilient to hold markets together with expectations that favourable election outcome could add more legs to the rally that has now taken Nifty closer to record peaks."
On the currency front, Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls explained that bearish USD/INR futures prices supported some recovery in the equity markets during the second half of the session.
"Over all sideways price movement was seen throughout the trading session," Desai asserted.
The Indian rupee appreciated by five paise to 66.67 against a US dollar from its previous close of 66.72 to a greenback.
In terms of investments, the provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 920.46 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) divested scrip worth Rs 1,073.75 crore.
Commenting on the sector-specific movement, Desai said: "Banking, pharma, auto, oil-gas, textile and aviation stocks traded with mixed sentiments, while power sector stocks traded firm due to buying support."
"Media-entertainment, FMCG and cement sector stocks traded with mixed sentiments due to profit booking."
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE metal index plunged by 217.26 points, followed by the automobile index, which slipped by 109.73 points, and the healthcare index, which fell by 72.02 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE oil and gas index rose by 55.73 points, the consumer durables index edged higher by 50.54 points, and the capital goods index was up by 27.50 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: Adani Ports, up 1.97 percent at Rs 308.30; ONGC, up 1.26 percent at Rs 196.25; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 1.22 percent at Rs 2,500.70; HDFC Bank, up 0.42 percent at Rs 1,386.15; and Wipro, 0.40 percent at Rs 493.80.
Major Sensex losers were: Tata Steel, down 2.22 percent at Rs 482; Infosys, down 1.37 percent at Rs 1,019.70; Lupin, down 1.36 percent at Rs 1,455.50; Axis Bank, down 1.28 percent at Rs 511.70; and Maruti Suzuki, down 0.85 percent at Rs 5,886.05.
Updated Date: Mar 07, 2017 18:39 PM