Indian markets closed lower on Wednesday, with the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex falling 66.51 points to end at 27,984.37 and the National Stock Exchange Nifty dropping 18.80 points to close at 8,659.10. The drop was a result of profit booking – the selling of shares to realise gains – by investors in the stocks of banking, auto and fast-moving consumer goods companies, NDTV reported.
ICICI Bank was among the biggest losers on the Nifty, dropping by nearly 2% to close at Rs 265.15. This plunge came after the bank's shares rose by nearly 10% following Essar Oil's deal with Russian firm Rosneft, which raised investor hopes that the Essar Group would deleverage its near Rs 90,000-crore debt. ITC, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC Bank and Tata Motors were among the other companies whose shares faced selling pressures by investors. Idea Cellular, however, was the top gainer on the Nifty, with a 7.4% increase in its stocks to Rs 78. Adani Ports, Wipro and GAIL India were also among those that performed well.
The overall drop in markets came just a day after the Sensex surged by more than 500 points on the back of a rally in stocks in various sectors, as well as positive performances by global markets. The fall also came a day after the Goods and Services Tax Council discussed a four-slab rate band structure, with the lowest rate of 6%, to be imposed on essential items, and the highest rate of 26% for luxury goods and demerit items such as tobacco, cigarettes, aerated drinks and polluting items. The council also discussed setting standard rates at 12% and 18%.