Indian equity benchmarks on Tuesday extended their fall for the second straight session, dragged by technology, consumer, automobile and pharma stocks. Investors awaited the quantum of another sharp U.S. interest rate hike. The central bank had raised its benchmark rate by 50 basis points (bps) in its previous policy and is likely to hike it further by 75 bps in July's policy outcome, due on Wednesday.
Globally, stocks in Asia mostly traded higher, while U.S. stock futures indicated a lower start for Wall Street.
Back home, the 30-share BSE Sensex plunged 498 points or 0.89 per cent to close at 55,268 today, while the broader NSE Nifty moved 147 points or 0.88 per cent lower to settle at 16,484.
Mid- and small-cap shares finished on a weak note as Nifty Midcap 100 fell 1.25 per cent lower and small-cap shed 1.48 per cent.
14 out of the 15 sector gauges -- compiled by the National Stock Exchange -- settled in the red. Sub-indexes Nifty IT, Nifty FMCG, Nifty Consumer Durables, Nifty Auto and Nifty Pharma underperformed the NSE platform by falling as much as 2.83 per cent, 1.39 per cent, 1.29 per cent, 1.18 per cent and 1.18 per cent, respectively.
However, Nifty Media rose as much as 0.86 per cent.
On the stock-specific front, Infosys was the top Nifty loser as the stock cracked 3.51 per cent to Rs 1,450.85. Hindustan Unilever, Axis Bank, Dr Reddy's and Kotak Mahindra Bank were also among the laggards.
The overall market breadth stood negative as 1,156 shares advanced while 2,170 declined on BSE.
On the 30-share BSE index, Infosys, Axis Bank, HUL, Dr Reddy's, Kotak Bank, Wipro, L&T, HCL Technologies, TCS, Titan, Tech Mahindra and Nestle India were among the top losers with their shares down as much as 3.40 per cent.
Also, shares of food delivery company Zomato extended their fall to crash 12.41 per cent, at Rs 41.65, after a one-year lock-in period for promoters, employees and other investors expired yesterday.
Further, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the country's biggest insurer and largest domestic financial investor, fell 1.29 per cent to end at Rs 675.35.
In contrast, Bajaj Finserv, Bharti Airtel, PowerGrid, Bajaj Finance, ITC, NTPC, M&M, Asian Paints, IndusInd Bank and Reliance Industries finished in the green.