The Indian equity benchmarks staged a gap down opening on the back of weak global cues after US Federal Reserve stunned investors by signalling it might raise interest rates at a much faster pace than assumed, sending bond yields and the dollar sharply higher. The Sensex fell as much as 402 points and Nifty 50 index fell below its important psychological level of 15,700.
As of 9:21 am, the Sensex was down 270 points at 52,231 and Nifty 50 index slipped 82 points to 15,685.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday began closing the door on its pandemic-driven monetary policy as officials projected an accelerated timetable for interest rate increases, opened talks on how to end crisis-era bond-buying, and said the 15-month-old health emergency was no longer a core constraint on US commerce.
Back home, selling pressure was broad-based as nine of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Financial Services index's nearly 1 per cent fall. Nifty Bank, Metal, Pharma and Private Bank indices also fell between 0.4-0.7 per cent.
On the other select media and realty shares were witnessing buying interest.
Mid- and small-cap shares were trading on a mixed note as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 0.2 per cent while Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 0.13 per cent.
Adani Ports was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 2.55 per cent to Rs 689. HDFC, Hero MotoCorp, Hindalco, Tech Mahindra, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Dr Reddy's Labs, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Auto, Axis Bank and Britannia Industries also fell between 0.6-1 per cent.
On the flipside, Asian Paints, Reliance Industries, Tata Steel, Eicher Motors, Tata Motors, Shree Cements and Grasim Industries were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,481 shares were advancing while 1,126 were declining on the BSE.