MUMBAI/Nagpur: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday slipped below 26,000-mark and Nifty ended below 8,000, tracking a steep fall in European equities and as sentiment turned cautious ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts later this week.
Speculative selling by those who had bought stocks ahead of the US Fed’s crucial meeting last week also added to bearish sentiments.
Dealers said speculators were unwinding their positions ahead of the expiration of derivatives contracts on Thursday and there were not many buyers at the current levels.
Market talk was that one large FII sold about $250 million worth of nifty futures in late trades, which affected the whole market.
Metal and commodity stocks led the slide with Vedanta (down 6.5%) and Hindalco (down 6.4%) among top Sensex laggards.
Other leading declines were Coal India, Tata Motors and NTPC.
Among the heavyweights which cushioned the fall marginally were GAIL and Infosys, the only two gainers among the 30-Sensex stocks.
The day’s fall in the Sensex in late session was aggravated by a weak Europe mainly because of weakness in metal stocks.
The expanding criminal and other cases against European auto giant Volkswagen for fudging emission data for its diesel cars in several countries around the world also weighed on the sentiment, news reports said.
The Germany-headquartered auto maker has set aside about $7.3 billion to meet future legal costs related to the case.
As a result of the troubles at Volkswagen, the stock of Indian auto ancillary maker Motherson Sumi, which supplies to the German giant, fell for the second consecutive session and closed 7.7% lower at Rs 242 on BSE.