The BSE benchmark Sensex today nosedived by over 165 points to 22,466.19 on consistent profit-booking across counters, with investors turning cautious amid a slew of negative factors.
The sentiment was also influenced by the two-day monetary policy meet of the US Federal Reserve that will start late today and is expected to trim monthly bond purchases by another USD 10 billion.
Profit-booking was seen for the the third successive day. In across-the-board profit taking, 11 out of 12 sectoral indices closed in the red with metal, banking, auto and power segments leading the downfall. Consumer durables index managed to to settle in the green.
The 30-share barometer was in the negative terrain for most of the day before settling at 22,466.19, a fall of 165.42 points or 0.73 per cent.
In straight three sessions, it has plunged by 410.35 points or 1.79 per cent.
The wide-based 50-issue CNX Nifty of the NSE also dipped by 46 points or 0.68 pct to 6,715.25.
Investors worries over developments in Ukraine lingered on as the US has already announced some sanctions and also threatened to impose more economic sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy.
On the domestic front, slowdown in capital inflows and announcement of below normal monsoon continued to weigh on minds of investors.
Stock brokers said wary investors are now waiting for the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections and they hope a new stable government will take initiatives on reform measures.
Jignesh Chaudhary, Head Of Research, Veracity Broking Services said: "Local equities continued to trade weak.... Yesterday, FIIs were seen selling in the local markets and posted its lowest net buying in the whole month. Also, the DIIs continued to be net sellers in the equity. Till date for this month DIIs have been the net buyers only for 2 days in sixteen working days."
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 77.02 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from stock exchanges.
Tata Steel plunged 4.79 per cent, FMCG major HUL slumped 3.01 per cent.
Hindalco Ind at 2.87 per cent, Tata Power 2.65 per cent, Bajaj Auto 2.20 per cent, SBI 1.90 per cent, Maruti Suzuki 1.85 per cent, Tata Motors 1.76 per cent, SSLT 1.37 per cent, Cipla 1.35 per cent, HDFC Bank 1.30 per cent were among the prominent losers.
Among BSE sectoral indices, Metal fell by 2.69 per cent, followed by