The Indian equity benchmarks fell for second straight session on Wednesday dragged by losses in metal, private sector banking, information technology and financial services shares amid weak global cues. The Sensex fell as much as 611 points to hit an intraday low of 48,550.72 and Nifty 50 index briefly dropped below its important psychological level of 14,650.
The Sensex ended 471 points lower to close at 48,691 and Nifty 50 index declined 154 points or 1 per cent to settle at 14,696.
Broader Asian markets extended a sell-off fueled by concerns that a potential pickup in US inflation could lead to interest rate hikes sooner than expected.
Eight of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty Metal index's 3 per cent fall. Nifty Bank, Financial Services, Private Bank and Information Technology indices fell over 1 per cent each.
On the other hand, Nifty PSU Bank was top sectoral gainer, the index advanced 3 per cent on the back of buying in State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Indian Bank and Bank of India.
Mid- and small-cap shares also faced selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 0.8 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index declined 0.54 per cent.
Tata Steel was top Nifty loser, the stock declined 5 per cent to Rs 1,175. Hindalco, JSW Steel, IndusInd Bank, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Unilever, ONGC, ICICI Bank, Shree Cements, Wipro, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Mahindra & Mahindra also fell between 2-3.45 per cent.
On the flipside, Tata Motors, Titan, Maruti Suzuki, Power Grid, Cipla, State Bank of India and UPL were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was neutral as 1,587 shares ended higher while 1m487 closed lower on the BSE.