Heavy sell-off in FMCG and technology stocks pulled down the benchmark CNX Nifty to close below the key 7,500 mark on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) today, extending losses for the fourth straight session.
Unrest in Iraq, delay in monsoons, worries over lower agriculture output continued to shake investors confidence.
Steep increase in passenger fares and freight rates also sparked fears of inflationary impact. The 50-share Nifty fluctuated between a high of 7,534.80 and a low of 7,441.60 before ending at 7,493.35, a fall of 18.10 points, or 0.24 per cent, over its last close.
After a modest positive start, equities lost momentum with frantic unwinding across the board as investors turned cautious following spurt in oil prices.
Hectic low-level buying toward the fag-end in financials, oil&energy, healthcare, auto and metal amid shortcovering ahead of June option expiry helped recovery to some extent.
Other Asian equities finished mixed despite upbeat Chinese manufacturing data which unexpectedly expanded in June for the fist time in six months. Heavy profit-taking sent Hong Kong tumbling 1.68 per cent.
ITC was a major loser with the stock tumbling by 6.18 per cent to end at Rs 314.95 on news that government may raise taxes on cigarettes aggressively in the upcoming budget.
Other laggards included Kotak Bank, United Spirits, Infosys, HCL-Tech, Hindunilvr, TCS, Wipro, Tata Motors and Ultracemco.
Notable gainers were ONGC, Jindal Steel, BHEL, ACC, Heromotoco, Industind Bank, Ambuja Cement, Sesa Sterlite, M&M and Tata Steel.
Sugar stocks rallied between 4 to 10 per cent buoyed by the government decision to hike import duty to 40 percent from 15 percent besides export incentives till September 2014.
Turnover in the cash segment fell sharply to Rs 15,006.33 crore from Rs 16,064.94 crore last Friday. A total of 9,615.28 lakh shares changed hands in 72,39,537 trades, while the market capitalisation stood at Rs 86,37,461 crore.