MUMBAI: Benchmark indices nursed losses for the third straight session on Thursday, led by selling in market heavyweights Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank amid expiry of December derivatives contracts.
After tumbling 328.37 points during the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 297.50 points, or 0.72 per cent, lower at 41,163.76. It hit an intra-day low of 41,132.89.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty closed 88 points, or 0.72 per cent, down at 12,126.55.
Bharti Airtel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, dropping 2.23 per cent, followed by Reliance Industries, L&T, Sun Pharma, HDFC Bank, Maruti, Titan and Kotak Bank.
On the other hand, ONGC, NTPC, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance and M&M rose up to 1.63 per cent.
According to traders, market turned volatile on expiry of December futures and options (F&O) contracts.
Further, investor participation has also thinned on account of year-end holidays in domestic and global markets, they said.
"Market started-off on a flat note on holiday-shortened week, however consolidation extend on account of F&O expiry led volatility and concern over the fiscal math of the government due to possible delay in divestments planned this fiscal.
"Global markets seem to be in comfort zone fuelled by hopes of easing trade tension, while the domestic market is expected to wait for cues from the Budget," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
BSE telecom, energy, capital goods, bankex, oil and gas, teck and healthcare indices lost up to 1.73 per cent.
Metal and basic materials settled up to 0.66 per cent higher.
Broader BSE Midcap closed 0.13 per cent lower while the smallcap index inched up 0.38 per cent.
Bourses in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul ended on a positive note .
On the currency front, the rupee was flat against the US dollar at 71.27 (intra-day).
Brent futures, the global oil benchmark, advanced 0.33 per cent to USD 67.42 per barrel.