Mumbai– Key Indian equity indices on Wednesday were dragged lower for the third consecutive day as sentiments were hampered by weak global cues, a huge sell-off in metal stocks, as well as disappointing trade deficit data released a day before.

According to market observers, the NSE Nifty50 closed at its lowest level in almost five weeks.

On a closing basis, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 68.55 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 10,118.05 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 32,760.44 points — down 181.43 points or 0.55 per cent — from Tuesday’s close.

The BSE market breadth was bearish — 1,991 declines and 720 advances.

“Markets corrected sharply on Wednesday to close with losses for the third consecutive session. Weak global cues and data showing widening of India’s trade deficit in October dampened investor sentiments,”Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

Official data released on Tuesday showed that India’s trade deficit widened to $14 billion in October as against $11.13 billion during the same period last year.

“Metal shares tumbled as prices of industrial metals declined in global commodities market. The Nifty hit its lowest closing level in five weeks,” Jasani added.

In terms of the broader markets, the BSE mid-cap closed lower by 1.01 per cent and the small-cap index by 1.52 per cent.

On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 20-21 paise to 65.21-22 against the US dollar from its previous close at 65.42.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Setbacks like widening in trade deficit, slowdown in factory output and hike in crude oil prices impacted the market which was already trading at premium valuation.”

“Additionally, choppy Q2 results during the latest leg of the result season failed to provide a reasonable comfort,” he added.

According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the Nifty metal index slipped over three per cent tracking lower global commodity prices.

“Metal stocks like Vedanta and Hindalco Industries fell over four per cent each,” Desai told IANS.

“All the sectoral indices led by metal, power and FMCG closed in the red. Shares of oil refiners such as Hindustan Petroleum and aviation shares, including Indigo Airlines’ parent InterGlobe Aviation, jumped on plunging crude oil prices,” he added.

All the 19 sub-indices of the BSE closed in the red, led by the metal (down 434.40 points), consumer durables (down 280.82 points) and healthcare (down 179.42 points) indices.

Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 381.42 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased scrips worth Rs 869.09 crore.

Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Asian Paints, up 1.96 per cent at Rs 1,176.85; Kotak Bank, up 1.29 per cent at Rs 1,012.20; Hero MotoCorp, up 0.72 per cent at Rs 3,680; ICICI Bank, up 0.54 per cent at Rs 315.55; and Infosys, up 0.26 per cent at Rs 951.95.

Major Sensex losers were: Sun Pharma, down 4.01 per cent at Rs 505.05; ONGC, down 2.55 per cent at Rs 177.35; Bharti Airtel, down 2.15 per cent at Rs 487.35; NTPC, down 1.70 per cent at Rs 173.95; and Lupin, down 1.50 per cent at Rs 822.65. (IANS)