Mumbai, Mar 17 (PTI) Equity indices wilted under selling pressure for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, weighed by selling in RIL and banking stocks, amid lacklustre trade in global markets ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy decision.
A flat rupee and rising COVID-19 cases in multiple states also sapped risk appetite, traders said. After a volatile session, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 562.34 points or 1.12 per cent lower at 49,801.62.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slumped 189.15 points or 1.27 per cent to finish at 14,721.30. ONGC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, declining 4.95 per cent, followed by NTPC, Sun Pharma, SBI, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, Bajaj Auto and Dr Reddy's.
Only four index components finished with gains -- ITC, Infosys, TCS and HDFC, climbing up to 1.20 per cent.
'Indian market remained in negative territory as investors traded cautiously ahead of the US Fed meeting coupled with a resurgence in COVID cases. Adding to that, the rise in international crude prices is also dragging the Indian market.
'Global markets also displayed a weak opening as it awaits the final decision of the FOMC meeting today, which will decide the trend of the market in the short-term. On a consensus basis, an accommodative policy is expected by Fed, which will help the global market to stabilise,' said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
All BSE sectoral indices closed in the red, with oil and gas, power, realty, energy, utilities, industrials and capital goods indices shedding up to 3.22 per cent.
In the broader markets, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices fell as much as 2.28 per cent.
Global investors awaited the Fed's policy decision in the backdrop of surging US Treasury yields.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul ended on a negative note, while Hong Kong was in the positive terrain.
Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading in the red in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.89 per cent lower at USD 67.78 per barrel.
The rupee closed flat 72.55 against the US dollar.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,692.31 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data. PTI ANS ABM ANS ABM ABM