Indian shares slipped to multi-week lows on Thursday as the absence of positive catalysts kept sentiment largely in check, while investors laid off heavy bets after the U.S. Federal Reserve delivered mixed signals about its next move.
Shares in Asian peers turned lower after the U.S. Fed cut interest rates as expected, but Fed Chairman Jerome Powell took a cautious approach to any further reductions in borrowing costs.
Major central banks have been loosening policy to counter the risks of low inflation and flagging economies. Easier monetary policy has generally supported equities.
The broader NSE Nifty dropped as much as 0.79% to 10,754.75, its lowest in more than two weeks, while the benchmark BSE Sensex fell 0.78% to 36,277.01, its lowest in nearly four weeks.
The week so far has been marred by concerns over surging crude prices and slowing economic growth both at home and globally. The indexes have shed more than 2.5% each so far this week.
"The economy is the yardstick for stock markets, and if you do not see any triggers in the economy, it is worrisome," Madhumita Ghosh, associate dean at Tasmac Global Solutions said.
"Markets have already moved up on expectations of sustainable economic growth and improvement of economic parameters in the last three-four years, but this has not materialised," Ghosh said.
Private-sector lender Yes Bank Ltd, the top loser in both indexes, fell as much as 6.3% to its lowest in over a week.
Larger rival ICICI Bank Ltd declined 2.9%, and was headed for a fourth straight session of losses.
Steelmakers JSW Steel Ltd and Tata Steel Ltd shed 2.4% and 3%, respectively, after posting sharp gains in the previous session.
Heavyweight IT stock Tata Consultancy Services Ltd slipped 1.5%.
(Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)