The domestic equity benchmarks tanked in the afternoon session on Tuesday as index heavyweights dragged the markets. At 2:29 pm, the Sensex traded at 37,607.33, with a loss of 314.84 points or 0.83 per cent and the Nifty50 was at 11,341.65, down 96.45 points or 0.84 per cent. Sensex heavyweights ITC, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Reliance Industries and Tata Consultancy Services contributed the most to the losses. The top five Sensex losers were ITC, PowerGrid Corporation, Hero MotoCorp, Bharti Airtel and Tata Steel.
Among the sectoral indices on the NSE, consumer stocks cracked 2.35 per cent, pharma stocks 1.5 per cent, and the metal pack was down 1.19 per cent. The Nifty PSU Bank index, however, bucked the trend to trade 0.16 per cent higher.
"The market will continue to remain under pressure for some time, likely until the end of the week, as it is already over-stretched," R.K. Gupta, managing director at Taurus Asset Management, was quoted as saying in a report by news agency Reuters.
"There is fear that rising crude prices, weakening of the rupee will cause inflation to go up and in that case, RBI (Reserve Bank of India) is bound to raise interest rates by 25 bps (basis points) in the October meeting."
Ritesh Ashar, Chief Strategy Officer, KIFS Trade Capital, cautioned investors. "The Sino-US Trade war concern and the depreciating rupee are major concerns for the market and have been main reasons for the correction Indian market for past few days. Investors are advised to remain cautious as volatility may prevail in the market," he said.
In global markets, Asian shares were struggling to avoid a ninth straight session of losses as the spectre of a further escalation in the Sino-US trade war haunted investors, while the pound perched at a five-week top on hints a Brexit deal might be nearer, according to a report by news agency Reuters. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.05 per cent, but did hold above lows last visited in July last year.
On Monday, foreign portfolio investors and domestic institutional investors sold shares worth a net Rs 841.68 crore and Rs 289.66 crore respectively.
The Sensex had closed at 37,922.17 and the Nifty at 11,438.