Sensex tanks 562 pts; Nifty cracks below 14,800

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Mumbai, Mar 17 (PTI) Dropping for the fourth straight session, equity benchmark Sensex tumbled 562.34 points on Wednesday following losses in index majors Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank amid a weak trend in global markets ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy outcome.

After a volatile session, the 30-share BSE index tanked 562.34 points or 1.12 per cent to close at 49,801.62. The broader NSE Nifty slumped 189.15 points or 1.27 per cent to 14,721.30.

ONGC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, declining around 5 per cent, followed by NTPC, Sun Pharma, SBI, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Auto, PowerGrid and Reliance Industries.

On the other hand, ITC, Infosys, TCS and HDFC were among the gainers.

Domestic equities dropped for the fourth consecutive day as concerns pertaining to recent rise in COVID-19 cases in various parts of the country and high inflation continued to weigh on investors' sentiments, said Binod Modi, Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities.

Additionally, he noted that weak cues from global markets ahead of the US Federal Reserve meeting outcome caused selling in domestic equities. The two-day meet started on Tuesday.

All key sectoral indices witnessed selling pressure with PSU banks, metals and auto indices witnessing steep correction.

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. PTI ANS ABM ABM