The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes fell for third day in a row on Friday as investors turned cautious about uncertainty over the impending US presidential election amid rising COVID-19 cases globally. The benchmarks opened higher but soon gave up gains owing to weakness in auto, banking and FMCG shares wherein Sensex fell as much as 508 points and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 11,550. However, late buying in Reliance Industries ahead of September quarter earnings helped Sensex and Nifty pare losses.
The Sensex ended 136 points lower at 39,614 and Nifty 50 index dropped 28 points to close at 11,642.
Uncertainty over US presidential elections and rising coronavirus cases globally are keeping the investors on sideline from making fresh investments, analysts said.
Six of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty Auto index's 1.2 per cent decline. Nifty Bank, Private Bank, Financial Services and FMCG indexes also fell between 0.7-1 per cent.
On the other hand, media, energy, metal and realty shares witnessed buying interest.
Mid- and small-cap shares ended on a mixed note as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.51 per cent while Nifty Smallcap 100 index declined 0.5 per cent.
Bharti Airtel was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 4 per cent to close at Rs 433. Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki, Eicher Motors, Bajaj Finance, Hindustan Unilever, Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank, Britannia Industries, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finserv and Dr Reddy's Labs also fell between 1-3 per cent.
On the flipside, Adani Ports, Bharat Petroleum, Coal India, NTPC, Sun Pharma, Hindalco and Reliance Industries were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was neutral as 1,339 shares ended higher while 1,239 closed lower on the BSE.