Wednesday’s trading session turned out to be a daunting one for stock markets in India and benchmarks ended below their crucial 7,600 (Nifty) and 25,300 (Sensex) levels. Sentiments were weighed down as investors remained concerned over Iraqi turmoil. Earlier, markets made a positive start supported by report that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 48.02 crore on June 17, 2014, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges. But, sentiments turned cautious and frontline gauges entered into red terrain after Brent crude surged above $113 per barrel on Wednesday as heavy fighting in Iraq shut the country’s biggest refinery and led to the withdrawal of staff by foreign oil firms, stoking worries about exports from the key oil producer.

Investors were also focused on the Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting that ends later in the day, with street expecting another $10 billion cut in the pace of monthly bond purchases to $35 billion. Sentiments also remained dampened amid reports that drought-like conditions have developed in large parts of the country as the monsoon deficit has widened to a worrying 49% since the start of the season on June 1. Though, some recovery witnessed in last leg of trade on the back of bargain hunting but this was not enough to bring markets into green.

On the global front, European markets traded in the green in early deals with investors awaiting a Federal Reserve monetary-policy decision. The Fed is widely expected to cut another $10 billion from its monthly bond purchases. Though, Asian counters ended mixed as investors remained concerned over rising crude oil prices. Sentiments also remained dampened in the region after China’s house prices fell in 35 cities in May.

Back home, depreciation in Indian rupee too dampened the sentiments. Rupee were trading at 60.44 per dollar at the time of equity markets closing compared with its previous close of 60.03/04, while the 10-year benchmark bond yield rose by 6 basis points on the day to 8.66 percent. Meanwhile, public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) viz. BPCL, HPCL and IOC declined after international crude oil prices firmed up on concern over Iraq chaos.

On the other hand, stocks related to telecommunication sector, viz Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communication and Idea Cellular edged higher after Minister of Communications & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad unveiled that his ministry had given in-principle approval for a nation-wide Mobile Network Portability (MNP) and its implementation would begin after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) submits its recommendations. Additionally, rail stock like Titagarh Wagons, Kalindee Rail Nirman, Kernex Microsystems and Texmaco Rail and Engineering too remained on buyers’ radar on the buzz that railway fare and freight rate gathered steam.

The NSE’s 50-share broadly followed index Nifty declined by over seventy points to end below the psychological 7,600 support level, while Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index — Sensex declined by over two hundred and seventy points to end below its crucial 25,300 mark. Broader markets too struggled to get any traction during the trade and ended the session with a cut of around half a percent. The market breadth remained in favor of decliners, as there were 1400 shares on the gaining side against 1,631 shares on the losing side while 101 shares remain unchanged.

Finally, the BSE Sensex plunged by 274.94 points or 1.08%, to 25246.25, while the CNX Nifty declined by 73.50 points or 0.96%, to 7,558.20.

The BSE Sensex touched a high and a low of 25609.28 and 25114.30, respectively. The BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.73%, while Small cap index lost 0.28%.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Cipla up by 2.98%, Hindalco Inds up by 2.74%, Gail India up by 1.55%, Maruti Suzuki up by 0.83% and Dr Reddys Lab up by 0.60%. On the flip side, the key losers were BHEL down by 3.21%, TCS down by 2.43%, NTPC down by 2.26%, RIL down by 2.12% and Tata Motors down by 2.08%.

On the BSE Sectoral front, Healthcare up by 0.06% was the only gainer in the space, while Realty down by 2.10%, Consumer Durables down by 1.59%, Power down by 1.51%, Oil & Gas down by 1.43% and PSU down by 1.13% were the top losers in the space.

Meanwhile, with an aim to enhance the infrastructure development in the country, the government is considering a special public-private partnership (PPP) platform to renegotiate already bid projects under PPP mode.

Allowing renegotiation after a project is bid out has emerged as a key challenge in most infrastructure sectors and the government is likely to set a resolution panel soon in line with global practices. Most countries have a provision for renegotiation of contracts under the PPP mode. On the other hand, the renegotiation of contracts under the PPP mode has been done very selectively in India. The move is likely to provide impetus to the big infrastructure products which are implemented under the PPP mode.

The development of the infrastructure sector is most critical prerequisite to boost the economic growth of any country. Infrastructure sector primarily comprises of power, ports, railways, roads, irrigation, water supply and airports. At present, Indian economy is struggling with slowdown and growth and prevailing economic downturn can be attributed partly to global factors and mainly to slow reforms and delays in implementation of projects in the country. Meanwhile, to boost the infrastructure sector, India’s government has proposed an investment of $1 trillion for the infrastructure sector during the 12th Five Year Plan, with 50 percent of the funds coming from the private sector.

The CNX Nifty touched a high and low of 7,663.00 and 7,515.50 respectively.

The major gainers of the Nifty were Cipla up by 2.69%, Lupin up by 2.68%, Kotak Mahindra Bank up by 2.37%, Hindalco Industries up by 2.37% and GAIL (India) up by 1.81%. On the flip side, the key losers were Jindal Steel & Power down by 3.43%, BPCL down by 3.30%, IDFC down by 3.08%, BHEL down by 3.05% and NMDC down by 2.96%.

The European markets were trading in green, France’s CAC 40 was up by 0.12%, Germany’s DAX was up by 0.27% and United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 was up by 0.43%.

Asian markets ended the Wednesday’s trade mixed as investors remained concerned over Iraq turmoil. Sentiments remained dampened after Brent crude surged above $113 per barrel on Wednesday as heavy fighting in Iraq shut the country’s biggest refinery and led to the withdrawal of staff by foreign oil firms, stoking worries about exports from the key oil producer. Investors were also focused on the Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting that ends tonight, with economists expecting another $10 billion cut in the pace of monthly bond purchases to $35 billion.