MUMBAI, Feb 21 (PTI): Benchmark Sensex and Nifty closed marginally down in choppy trade on Tuesday, extending losses for a third straight day as investors remained cautious ahead of the release of minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
The BSE Sensex edged down 18.82 points or 0.03 per cent to settle at 60,672.72 as 17 of its constituents declined while 13 advanced. During the day, it hit a low of 60,583.72 and a high of 60,976.59.
The NSE Nifty slipped 17.90 points or 0.1 per cent to end at 17,826.70 with 30 of its scrips ending in the red.
Sensex has declined over 1 per cent or 646 points while Nifty retreated by 1.36 per cent or 209 points in three sessions to Tuesday.
From the Sensex pack, Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, UltraTech Cement, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Finserv, HCL Technologies, Infosys and IndusInd Bank were the major laggards.
NTPC, Power Grid, Reliance Industries, Tata Steel, HDFC and HDFC Bank were the major winners.
“Despite opening gains, negative cues from global peers cast a shadow over investor sentiments. Underpinned by inflationary concerns, the market is keenly eyeing the US fed meeting minutes, scheduled to be released on Wednesday, for hints on further monetary policy tightening,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Risk appetite was further hammered by FIIs turning net sellers and fear of El Nino weather event, Nair said.
“Markets were extremely range bound with a negative bias as the shutdown of the US markets on Monday prompted investors to take a cautious stance.
“In fact, the markets have been more or less sluggish to negative over the past few sessions due to factors like rising interest rates, higher inflation, lingering geo-political tensions, and slowing growth,” said Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd.
In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge dipped 0.31 per cent and midcap index declined 0.21 per cent.
Among the sectoral indices, realty declined 1.03 per cent, IT slipped 0.83 per cent, teck dipped 0.82 per cent, oil & gas (0.52 per cent), commodities (0.48 per cent) and telecommunication (0.44 per cent).
FMCG, industrials, utilities, capital goods and power were the winners.
In Asian markets, South Korea and China ended in the green, while Hong Kong and Japan settled lower.
European equity markets were trading lower in the afternoon trade. The US markets were shut on Monday for ‘Presidents Day’.
International oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1.50 per cent to USD 82.81 per barrel.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) offloaded shares worth Rs 158.95 crore on Monday, according to exchange data.