Equity benchmark indices began the trade on a weak note on Wednesday following a bearish trend in the global markets as investors preferred to remain on the sidelines ahead of the release of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes.
Halting a three-day rally, the 30-share BSE Sensex fell 251.26 points to 61,730.53. The NSE Nifty declined 78.3 points to 18,269.70.
Among the Sensex firms, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Finserv, UltraTech Cement, Asian Paints and Tata Motors were the major laggards.
Power Grid, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Maruti Suzuki India, Tech Mahindra, ITC and NTPC were among the winners.
In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong were trading lower.
The US market ended in the negative territory on Tuesday.
Market participants are waiting for the release of the FOMC meeting minutes, scheduled for Wednesday.
Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.91 per cent to USD 77.54 a barrel.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were buyers on Tuesday as they bought equities worth Rs 182.51 crore, according to exchange data.
The BSE benchmark settled at 61,981.79, a marginal gain of 18.11 points or 0.03 per cent on Tuesday. The Nifty went up by 33.60 points or 0.18 per cent to end at 18,348.
“The US debt ceiling impasse continues to affect markets. Since failure to reach a resolution will have catastrophic consequences for the global economy and markets, a resolution of the crisis at the eleventh hour is the most likely scenario.
“But markets will be on tenterhooks till then,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.