The Indian equity benchmarks fell for fifth straight session on Tuesday dragged down by losses in index heavyweights like HDFC, HDFC Bank, Infosys, ITC, Tata Consultancy Services, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Hindustan Unilever. For most part of the day, benchmarks traded in a rangebound manner but selling pressure intensified in the last hour of trade with HDFC, HDFC Bank and Infosys adding nearly 600 points towards fall in the Sensex.
The Sensex dropped 704 points to close at 56,463 and Nifty 50 index tumbled 215 points to settle at 16,958.
In the last five trading sessions, the Sensex has declined 5 per cent and Nifty has fallen 4.64 per cent.
"Rising commodity prices amid Russia Ukraine war is likely to impact margins of Indian companies and that will be visible in March quarter earnings and is leading to fall in markets," AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital told Outlook Business.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 15 sector gauges, barring the measure of oil & gas shares, ended lower led by the Nifty IT index's nearly 3 per cent decline. Nifty Realty, Pharma, Private Bank, Metal, FMCG, auto and bank indices also dropped between 1-2.8 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares also came under selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 1.2 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index declined 1.66 per cent.
HDFC, HDFC Life, SBI Life, HDFC Bank, Tata Consumer Products, ITC, Cipla, Adani Ports, Tech Mahindra, JSW Steel, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Hindustan Unilever and Eicher Motors also fell between 3-5.5 per cent.
On the flipside, Apollo Hospitals, Coal India, Reliance Industries, Bharat Petroleum, ICICI Bank and ONGC were among the notable gainers.
The overall market breadth was negative as 2,196 shares ended lower while 1,216 ended higher on the BSE.