The Indian equity benchmarks fell on Tuesday on account of selling pressure in index heavyweights like Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, HDFC, HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, ITC and Axis Bank. The Sensex fell as much as 519 points and Nifty 50 index tumbled below its important psychological level of 18,000 as rising wholesale inflation soured investors' sentiment analysts, said.
The Sensex ended 396 points lower at 60,322 and Nifty 50 index declined 110 points to close at 17,999.
India's annual wholesale price-based inflation in October accelerated to a five-month high of 12.54 per cent from September's 10.66 per cent, pushed up by higher increases in fuel and manufacturing prices, government data showed on Monday.
IDBI Capital's Head of Research AK Prabhakar told news agency Reuters that inflation is a worrying factor in India and the United States. "Many companies are looking to hike prices," he said, adding that this could impact inflation and, therefore, the Reserve Bank of India's policy.
Selling pressure was broad-based as thirteen of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank index's over 2 per cent decline. Nifty Private Bank, Healthcare, Pharma, Bank, FMCG, Metal, Financial Services and Oil & Gas indexes also fell between 0.8-1.6 per cent.
On the other hand, auto stocks witnessed buying interest on reports that concerns regarding shortage of semiconductors may be resolved soon.
Mid- and small-cap shares ended mixed as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 0.4 per cent while Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 0.45 per cent.
Among the individual shares, Mumbai-based real estate developer Macrotech Developers rose as much as 12.5 per cent to hit record high of Rs 1,443.60 after the company post market hours on Monday informed stock exchanges that its board of directors will meet on November 18, Thursday to consider fund raising by allotting equity shares to qualified institutional buyers.
State Bank of India was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 2.43 per cent to close at Rs 494. Tata Consumer Products, UltraTech Cement, NTPC, Grasim Industries, IndusInd Bank, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil, Cipla, Tata Steel, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank and Britannia Industries also fell between 1.4-2.3 per cent.
On the flipside, Maruti Suzuki jumped 7.3 per cent to close at Rs 8,095. Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, tech Mahindra, Eicher Motors, Wipro, Bajaj Finserv, Infosys and JSW Steel were also among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1,736 shares ended lower while 1,596 closed higher on the BSE.