Mumbai, Aug 3 (IANS) Indian equity markets on Wednesday succumbed to profit booking on uncertainties regarding the passage of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Bill in the Rajya Sabha, coupled with weak global cues.
Consequently, both the key indices closed the day's trade in the negative territory, as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in automobile, capital goods and consumer durables stocks.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged down 78.05 points or 0.91 per cent to 8,544.85 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 28,008.52 points, closed at 27,697.51 points -- down 284.20 points or 1.02 per cent from the previous close at 27,981.71 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 28,015.43 points and a low of 27,690.06 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears -- with 1,869 declines and 873 advances.
Both the indices had ended marginally in the red during the previous trade session on Tuesday, prompted by negative global cues and profit booking.
The barometer index fell by 21.41 points or 0.08 per cent to 27,981.71 points, while the NSE Nifty edged lower by 13.65 points or 0.16 per cent to 8,622.90 points.
Initially on Wednesday, the benchmark indices opened on a negative note following weak Asian and the US markets.
Investors traded with caution on expectations of approval of the GST bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and resorted to booking profits.
The sentiments of investors were boosted on the bill's passage after the union cabinet last week approved key changes in the proposed legislation.
The pan-India tax reform has been passed by the Lok Sabha but is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks a majority.
In addition, the rupee depreciated to 66.98-99 against a US dollar from its previous close of 66.73-74 to a greenback.
"Uncertainity of the GST bill will continue to prevail in the markets until a decision is taken by the Rajya Sabha," Manish Hathiramani, Proprietary Trader and Technical Analyst at Deen Dayal Investments, told IANS.
"Due to this uncertainity, there is a severe bout of profit taking that can be seen in the markets," he added.
According to Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, along with GST anticipation, the markets slipped due to weak global cues.
"The market is floating on a premium valuation and the risk reward is low. So investors are on the verge of profit booking," Nair said.
In terms of investments, the provisional data with exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 578.17 crore, while the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) divested scrip worth Rs 800.75 crore.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE automobile index plummeted by 359.28 points, followed by the capital goods index, which plunged by 261.81 points, and the consumer durables index fell by 213.85 points.
In contrast, the S&P BSE metal index rose by 6.45 points and the telecom index inched up by 1.95 points.
Major Sensex gainers during Wednesday's trade were: Cipla, up 2.08 per cent at Rs 529.40; Asian Paints, up 1.81 per cent at Rs 1,143.40; Sun Pharmaceuticals, up 1.16 per cent at Rs 838.40; Coal India, up 0.88 per cent at Rs 326.20; and Infosys, up 0.06 per cent at Rs 1,085.
Major Sensex losers were: Tata Motors, down 2.98 per cent at Rs 479.15; ITC, down 2.86 per cent at Rs 252.75; Maruti Suzuki, down 2.32 per cent at Rs 4,875.40; Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 1.75 per cent at Rs 1,477.85; and Reliance Industries, down 1.68 per cent at Rs 994.05.