New Delhi: The Indian equity benchmarks plunged on Tuesday amid an across-the-board sell-off led by automobile, metal and information technology stocks. The 30-share BSE Sensex slumped 554 points or 0.90 per cent to close at 60,755 in highly volatile trade, while the broader NSE Nifty settled 195 points or 1.07 per cent lower at 18,113. During the day, both the indexes swung between gains and losses before settling in the negative zone.
Mid- and small-cap shares finished on a weak note as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 2.06 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index slipped 2.45 per cent.
All the 15 sector gauges -- compiled by the National Stock Exchange -- settled in red. Nifty Auto underperformed the index by diving as much as 2.38 per cent. Sub-indices Nifty Metal and Nifty IT also witnessed major selling pressure.
"Market corrected today by almost 1 per cent. The correction might continue for some time now with minor profit booking seen with Budget nearing. Investors should take advantage of this fall to add quality counters on major dips," said Rahul Sharma, Co-Owner, Equity 99.
"Post today's correction, 18,090 (Nifty) will act as strong support for the index. If this level is breached, then we might see 18,000 levels. On the upper side, 18,175 will act as major resistance. And if this level is breached, we may see a rally to 18,235 and 18,300 levels too," he added.
On the stock-specific front, Maruti Suzuki India was the top Nifty loser as the stock cracked 4.07 per cent to Rs 7,929. Tata Consumer Products, UltraTech Cements and Eicher Motors and Grasim Industries were also among the laggards.
On the flipside, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Dr Reddy's and Nestle India were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth stood weak as 1,157 stocks advanced while 2,273 declined on BSE.
On the 30-share BSE platform, Maruti, UltraTech Cements, Tech Mahindra, HCL Tech, Tata Steel and IndusInd Bank attracted the most losses with their shares falling as much as 4.05 per cent.
Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Dr Reddy's, Titan and Nestle India were among the gainers.