A sell-off in the Asian markets, along with mixed early corporate results, subdued India's key equity indices on Thursday.
Besides, inflationary concerns due to high transportation fuel prices dented sentiments.
The two key indices -- S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 -- had a gap-up opening. However, soon afterwards, both ceded much of their gains and traded flat.
Volumes on the NSE were the lowest in the past four days, and banks were the main gainers among sectors whereas metals, telecom, IT and realty were the main losers.
On the global front, Asian markets, tumbled into the red after shares in China's Evergrande tanked as they resumed trading after a 17 day suspension period.
Furthermore, European stocks trended lower. Investors were concerned about inflation and China's economic slowdown.
The 30-scrip Sensex closed at 60,923.50 points, down 336.46 points, or 0.55 per cent.
The barometer index opened at 61,557.94 points from its previous close of 61,259.96 points.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty50 ended the day's trade lower, falling to 18,178.10, down 88.50 points or 0.48 per cent.
It opened at 18,382.70 points from its previous close of 18,266.60 points.
"Nifty has fallen for the third day; however the volumes are falling and advance decline ratio is improving, though below 1:1," HDFC Securities' Head of Retail research, Deepak Jasani, said.
"This could mean that the recent selloff or weakness is nearing the end. 18,266-18,350 could be the next resistance for the Nifty while 18,030 could be a support in the near term."
Motilal Oswal Financial Services' Head, Retail Research, Siddhartha Khemka, said: "Equity markets opened positive but immediately succumbed to profit booking and fell sharply for the third consecutive session though it did recover somewhat towards the fag end to close with minor loss."
"The markets are likely to further consolidate given weak global cues, ongoing earnings season and elevated valuations. The earnings declared so far has been mixed with cost inflationary pressure being clearly visible on margins."
Geojit Financial Services' Head of Research Vinod Nair said: "Sell-off continued due to weak Q2 results, bearish global market and profit booking in IT, metal and realty stocks."
"However, the banking index, especially PSBs, moved with confidence on the expectation of good quarterly earnings. High volatility forced foreign and domestic institutional investors to remain net sellers."
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