Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty retreated on Thursday as disappointing macroeconomic data and a sharp rise in the number of new coronavirus cases dampened investor sentiment.
The BSE gauge Sensex fell 106.11 points or 0.26 per cent to settle at 41,459.79. The index swung between a high of 41,709.30 and a low of 41,338.31 during the day.
Likewise, the NSE benchmark Nifty dropped 26.55 points or 0.22 per cent to close at 12,174.65.
On the Sensex chart, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, ONGC, ICICI Bank and Kotak Bank were among the top losers.
SBI, Titan, Infosys, Sun Pharma and Tech Mahindra emerged as the major gainers.
Of the 30 Sensex constituents, 16 closed in the red while 14 finished with gains.
Sectorally, BSE bank, finance and utilities indices were among the major laggards, while consumer durables, IT and teck rose the most.
In the broader market, both BSE smallcap and midcap indices outperformed the benchmark.
Hurting market sentiment, government data on Wednesday showed that industrial output contracted by 0.3 per cent in December while retail inflation jumped to a 68-month high of 7.59 per cent in January on high food prices.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee was trading on a flat note at 71.33 against the US dollar in intra-day trade.
Asian stocks closed mostly lower amid mounting concerns over the coronavirus epidemic.
The number of fatalities and new cases from China’s coronavirus outbreak soared on Thursday under a new diagnostic method, with over 200 more deaths and thousands of new patients.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said global oil demand will suffer its first quarterly drop in a decade as the novel coronavirus has hit the Chinese economy hard and its impact ripples throughout the world.
Reacting to IEA report, global crude oil benchmark Brent Futures tumbled about 2 per cent to trade at USD 55.25 per barrel.