The Indian equity benchmarks fell for the third straight session on Thursday as global sentiment turned weak on hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve minutes. Minutes of the Fed's March meeting showed deepening concern among policymakers that inflation had broadened through the economy and the need for tighter monetary policy. Investors also awaited Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) bi-monthly policy outcome due on Friday.
The 30-share BSE Sensex slipped 575 points or 0.97 per cent to close at 59,035, while the broader NSE Nifty moved 168 points or 0.94 per cent lower to settle at 17,640.
Mid- and small-cap shares finished on a weak note as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 1.02 per cent and small-cap shed 0.31 per cent.
12 out of the 15 sector gauges -- compiled by the National Stock Exchange -- ended in the red. Nifty Consumer Durables and Nifty IT underperformed the index by falling as much as 1.70 per cent and 1.25 per cent, respectively.
On the stock-specific front, Adani Ports was the top Nifty loser as the stock cracked 3.46 per cent to Rs 820.45. Titan, HDFC, ONGC and TCS were also among the laggards.
The overall market breadth stood slightly positive as 1,708 shares advanced while 1,703 declined on BSE.
On the 30-share BSE index, Titan, HDFC twins (HDFC and HDFC Bank), TCS, Wipro, Reliance Industries, PowerGrid, Bharti Airtel and L&T were among the top losers.
HDFC twins had rallied nearly 10 per cent each on Monday after the merger announcement. Both the stocks have declined for three consecutive sessions after that.
In contrast, Axis Bank, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank, M&M, DR Reddy's and Tech Mahindra settled in the green.