Equity benchmarks declined in initial trade on March 23 after a two-day rally, in line with a weak trend in global markets. Also, a weak trend in index major Reliance Industries and IT counters added to the pressure.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 341 points to 57,873.59 after a weak beginning. The broader NSE Nifty declined 97.8 points to 17,054.10.
Among the Sensex stocks, Asian Paints, Wipro, HCL Technologies, Infosys, Reliance Industries, HDFC, Power Grid and Kotak Mahindra Bank were the biggest laggards. Tata Motors, Nestle, Larsen & Toubro and Bharti Airtel were among the gainers.
In Asia, Seoul, Japan and Shanghai markets were trading lower, while Hong Kong quoted in the green. The U.S. markets had ended sharply lower on March 22.
"Markets may witness a cautious start with the bias tilted towards bears amid weakness in the overnight U.S. markets after the Fed increased interest rate by 25 basis points, which came as per the street expectations," said Prashanth Tapse, Senior V-P (Research), Mehta Equities Limited, in his pre-market opening quote.
The 30-share BSE benchmark advanced 139.91 points or 0.24% to settle at 58,214.59 on Wednesday. The Nifty climbed 44.40 points or 0.26% to end at 17,151.90.
Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude dipped 0.91% to $75.99 per barrel. Foreign Portfolio Investors turned buyers on Wednesday as they bought equities worth ₹61.72 crore, according to exchange data.