Equity benchmark Sensex dropped 97 points on Wednesday in a volatile session amid concerns over border tensions with China and the impact of spiking coronavirus on economic recovery. After gyrating 600.70 points during the day, the 30-share index closed 97.30 points, or 0.29 per cent, lower at 33,507.92. It had hit an intra-day high of 33,933.66 and a low of 33,332.96.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty settled 32.85 points, or 0.33 per cent, down at 9,881.15. It touched a high of 10,003.60 and a low of 9,833.80 in the session.
Kotak Bank was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding over 2 per cent, followed by ITC, PowerGrid, M&M, HDFC, Asian Paints and NTPC.
On the other hand, Maruti rallied over 4 per cent. Bharti Airtel, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank and Bajaj Finance were also among the gainers.
According to traders, border tensions with China, spike in COVID-19 cases and unabated foreign fund outflows weighed on investor sentiment.
As many as 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in a clash with Chinese troops in Ladakh on Monday night, the biggest military confrontation in five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two countries.
There were around 35 casualties on the Chinese side, sources said, citing US intelligence reports.
Adding to investors' woes, India witnessed its highest-single day spike of 2,003 COVID-19 deaths, pushing the toll to 11,903, while cases rose to 3,54,065 with 10,974 new infections.
The number of cases around the world linked to the coronavirus has crossed 81.62 lakh and the death toll has topped 4.41 lakh.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth a net Rs 1,478.52 crore on Tuesday, provisional exchange data showed.
Globally, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended on a positive note, while Tokyo settled in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a positive note in early deals.
International oil benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 0.83 per cent to USD 40.62 per barrel.
On the currency front, the rupee settled 4 paise higher at 76.16 against the US dollar.