Mumbai: Markets continued to look for direction for the second day on Wednesday with the benchmark S&P Sensex closing about 14 points lower in rangebound trade as weak oil prices hurt stocks amid sustained capital outflows.
Among BSE sectoral indices, metal dropped the most by 1.20 per cent, followed by oil&gas 0.86 per cent, PSU 0.68 per cent, auto 0.66 per cent, IT 0.50 per cent, consumer durables 0.41 per cent, healthcare 0.13 per cent and bankex 0.11 per cent.
The Sensex, after shuttling between 31,193.61 and 31,336.44, finally ended lower by 13.89 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 31,283.64. The gauge had lost 14.04 points in the previous session.
The NSE Nifty too took some blows as it dropped by 19.90 points, or 0.21 per cent, to close at 9,633.60. It moved between 9,608.60 and 9,650.45.
"Lack of fresh triggers refrained market to continue its positive momentum while todays RBI minutes will be under scrutiny to check any deviation from current neutral stance due to softening inflation. Global markets remain volatile led by slid in oil prices due to signs of supply glut," Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd said.
Oil&gas index was down 0.86 per cent with stocks like OIL (2.51 pc), ONGC (2.10 pc), GAIL (1.97 pc), BPCL (1.48 pc) IOC (0.95 pc) and HPCL (0.81 pc) all taking a beating.
Internationally, oil prices fell below USD 43 a barrel for the first time since November last year on rising output from Nigeria and Libya, two OPEC members exempt from cutting supply.
Airlines stocks, however, were upbeat on expectations of lower jet fuel prices with Spicejet and Jet Airways rising by 4.03 per cent and 2.99 per cent, while InterGlobe Aviation climbed 1.51 per cent.
Investors engaged in cutting down their bets apprehending early glitches in GST rollout amid continued capital outflows by foreign funds and a weak trend in Asian markets.
Tata Motors, with a loss of 2.11 per cent, was the worst hit from the Sensex pack followed by ONGC at 2.10 per cent.
Others that also came under selling pressure included Adani Ports, Lupin, TCS, Coal India, Hero MotoCorp, PowerGerid, Cipla, Tata Steel, Axis Bank, Tata Motor (DVR), M&M, ICICI Bank and HDFC Ltd, falling by up to 1.63 per cent.
However, Kotak Bank rose 0.85 per cent followed by Sun Pharma (0.80 per cent), Maruti Suzuki 0.76 per cent, Wipro 0.73 per cent, HDFC Bank 0.70 per cent, NTPC 0.69 per cent, Asian Paint 0.54 per cent and Reliance Ind 0.41 per cent.
FMCG gained the most by rising 0.73 per cent, followed by realty 0.51 per cent and power 0.19 per cent.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 312.84, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 477.13 crore yesterday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.
Elsewhere, most Asian indices like Japan's Nikkei fell 0.45 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.57 per cent, South Korea down 0.49 per cent and Singapore shed 0.81 per cent. while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.52 per cent after US-based index comnpiler MSCI agreed to include mainland-listed shares in its benchmark of emerging markets.
European indices like France, Germany and the UK fell in their early sessions.