Markets today slumped for the third straight day with Sensex losing over 276 points to end at 1-month low on losses in metal, power and banking bluechips due to mass cancellation of coal mines and sharp drop in oil & gas shares on government deferring a hike in gas price.
Besides, caution prevailed on the last day of September derivative contracts that also influenced cash market sentiments. Turnover at BSE and NSE exchanges crossed Rs 7.2 lakh crore in late trades.
The BSE Sensex after a better opening at 26,808.66, advanced to 26,814.20, tracking positive global cues on strong US economic data.
However, selling pressure emerged in blue-chip stocks led by oil and metal stocks which forced the index to touch intra-day low of 26,349.55. The Sensex finally settled at 26,468.36, down 276.33 points, or 1.03 per cent. This is its weakest closing since August 26. The 30-share gauge has lost 730 points in 3 days.
As many as 23 stocks closed with losses led by Axis Bank, SBI, Hindalco, BHEL, RIL, ICICI Bank and ONGC. However, TCS, Dr Reddys and GAIL closed higher among seven Sensex gainers.
Metal stocks such as Jindal Steel and Power, Tata Steel, Hindalco, Bhushan Steel, Usha Martin, Monnet Ispat remained under pressure due to Supreme Court cancelling mines.
Jaypee group stocks Jaiprakash Associates, Jaiprakash Power and Jaypee Infratech fell 13-19 per cent after a deal to sell 3 hydro projects failed.
The 50-share NSE index Nifty plunged 90.55 points, or 1.13 per cent, to close at 7,911.85 after shuttling between 8,019.30 and 7,877.35 intra-day.
Oil and gas scrips remained weak as government decided to postpone revision in gas prices till November 15.
In a major blow to corporate sector, the Supreme Court yesterday had quashed allocation of 214 out of 218 coal blocks which were alloted to various companies since 1993.
Foreign funds continue to remain net sellers on the domestic bourses which weighed on the sentiment and added to the selling, equity brokers said. Meanwhile, FPIs sold shares worth a Rs 793.65 crore yesterday as per the provisional data.
IT stocks like Infosys and TCS were, however, upbeat after Accenture said it expects better profits this fiscal.
Sectorwise, the BSE Realty index suffered the most by plunging 3.21 per cent, followed by Oil & Gas (3.08 pc), Metal index (3 pc), Power index (2.8 pc), Banking index (2.69 pc) and Capital Goods (1.91 pc). Small-cap index shed 3.21 per cent and Mid-cap index slumped by 2.4 per cent.