Mumbai, Sep 20 (IANS): Indian equities markets' benchmark indices fell Thursday due to political uncertainties arising out of the government's decision to hike diesel prices and allow overseas investments in multi-brand retail and weak cues from other Asian markets.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened sharply lower at 18,292.22 points, was trading at 18,385.85 points in the afternoon session, down 0.60 percent or 110.16 points from its previous close at 18,496.01 points.
The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange slumped 0.72 percent or 40.05 points at 5,560 points.
Weak cues from Asian peers and political uncertainties that arose after the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress decided to pull out of the government have dampened sentiments at the Indian markets.
There was heavy selling pressure in capital goods, metal, power and oil and gas stocks.
The BSE capital goods index was down 2.17 percent, metal index fell 1.84 percent, power index was down 1.70 percent and oil and gas index was trading 1.36 percent lower.
Reliance Industries Ltd fell 2.18 percent at Rs.836.55. Gail India, down 3.97 percent at Rs.372.50; BHEL, down 3.69 percent at Rs.216.70; Sterlite Inds, down 3.14 percent at Rs.98.70 and Coal India, down 2.83 percent at Rs.365.55 were among the major Sensex losers.
Only 11 of the 30 Sensex scrips were in the positive. TCS, up 1.89 percent at Rs.1325; Bharti Airtel, up 1.57 percent at Rs.272.25; Infosys, up 1.24 percent at Rs.2,631.85 and Maruti Suzuki, up 1.23 percent at Rs.1,290.90 were among the major Sensex gainers.
Most other Asian markets were also under selling pressure. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.57 percent and China's Shanghai Composite index was down more than two percent.