The Indian equity benchmarks edged lower on Wednesday and snapped their four-day winning streak as investors booked profit at record highs ahead of US Federal Reserve's policy statement due later in the day. The S&P BSE Sensex fell as much as 347 points and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 15,750.
The Sensex declined 271 points or 0.51 per cent to close at 52,502 and Nifty 50 index fell 102 points to close at 15,768.
Investors will be scrutinizing the Federal Reserve's comments at the close of its policy meeting on Wednesday for insight on whether the central bank has begun discussing tapering bond purchases and if policymakers are concerned about rising inflation.
Shares in companies controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani fell again on Wednesday, adding to their losses stemming from a media report that said accounts of three foreign investor funds that own stocks had been frozen.
The companies involved had rejected the report earlier this week, calling it "blatantly erroneous."
Adani Enterprises, Adani Green Energy, and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone fell as much as 3.3 per cent to 4.7 per cent on Wednesday, while shares of Adani Total Gas, Adani Transmission and Adani Power hit their lower circuit limits.
Nine of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty Metal index's over 3 per cent fall. Nifty Bank, Auto, Financial Services, Pharma, PSU Bank, Private Bank and Realty indices also fell 1.6-1.5 per cent.
On the other hand, FMCG and information technology shares witnessed buying interest.
Mid- and small-cap shares also faced selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index dropped 1.13 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index declined 0.65 per cent.
Tata Steel, Hindalco, JSW Steel, Power Grid, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, Grasim Industries, Cipla, Larsen & Toubro and UltraTech Cement were among the top Nifty losers.
On the flipside, Tata Consumer Products was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 2 per cent to close at Rs 735. Nestle India, ONGC, NTPC, Hindustan Unilever, Bajaj Finserv and Infosys were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1,790 shares ended lower while 1,441 closed higher on the BSE.