Major benchmark indices were range bound with a negative bias as market participants remained cautious before the outcome of US Federal Reserve meeting. Global rating agency S&P's report on lingering impact of demonetisation on domestic economy also dampened investors' sentiments.
While the 30-share index was trading 0.23 percent lower at 26,635.21 (12.50 pm), the 50-share index Nifty was at 8,194.80, down 0.32 percent. Market breadth turned negative in the afternoon trade with most indices trading in the red. Shares of auto, metal, bank and capital goods came under selling pressure in the afternoon trade, dragging the indices. However, IT and consumer goods bucked the trend and were trading in the green.
Coal India lost the most with its shares trading 3.45 percent lower at Rs 295.40. The company reported 77.4 percent fall in its net profit at Rs 600 crore during the September quarter from Rs 2,654 crore recorded in the corresponding period last year. Apart from Coal India, shares of Aurobindo Pharma, Hero Motocorp, Bosch and IndusInd Bank also lost in the afternoon trade.
Among winners, Axis Bank gained the most in the afternoon trade with its shares trading 2.93 percent higher at Rs 466.20 on Wednesday. Reliance, HCL Tech, Tata Power and Asian Paints were the other major gainers in the afternoon trade.
Meanwhile, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI)- based inflation for November 2016 touched a five-month low figure of 3.15 per cent against 3.39 per cent recorded in the previous month. Ongoing cash crunch owing to demonetisation pulled down consumption demand, leading to a fall in inflation, analysts said. S&P's report on demonetisation impacting rural consumption also weighed on investors' sentiments.
In the global front, performances of Asian indices were mixed as investors awaited outcome of US Federal Reserve meeting. While China's Shanghai Composite and Taiwan Index were trading in the red, Japan's Nikkei, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng were in the green on Wednesday. Notably, US stocks rallied to new all-time highs on Tuesday as optimism over US president-elect Donald Trump's upcoming fiscal policies continued to drive markets.
After a flat opening, the Indian rupee was trading 0.02 percent down at 67.52 against dollar in the afternoon trade. Among commodities, oil prices fell on rising inventories in the international market.