After trading flat for most part of the session, benchmark indices witnessed sharp decline in the fag-end of the trade on Thursday as investors turned cautious ahead of European Central Bank's (ECB) policy meeting later in the day. It is widely expected that the ECB will deliver stimulus to arrest a slowing global economy.
That apart, investors also await key macro data such as IIP (index of industrial production) numbers for July and retail inflation (CPI) print for August due later in the day.
The S&P BSE Sensex shed 167 points or 0.45 per cent to settle at 37,104.28, with ICICI Bank (up 2 per cent) being the top gainer and YES Bank (down 5 per cent) the biggest loser.
On NSE, the Nifty50 index slipped below the crucial 11,000 level to close at 10,981, down 55 points or 0.50 per cent. Out of 50 constituents, 15 advanced while 35 declined.
Volatility index India VIX dropped over 3 per cent to end at 14.88 levels.
In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap index lost 25 points, or 0.18 per cent, to close at 13,610.09 levels, and the S&P BSE SmallCap index rose 16 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 12,908 levels.
Among the sectoral indices on NSE, auto stocks bled the most, followed by FMCG, realty and IT stocks. The Nifty Auto index ended at 7,288.90, down 135 points or 1.81 per cent.
Walchandnagar Industries (WIL), the heavy engineering products company, hit an upper circuit limit of 20 per cent at Rs 72.15 apiece on the BSE after the company secured an order worth Rs 77.20 crore plus escalation from the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Zee Media ended 8 per cent higher after its chief financial officer (CFO) resigned with effect from close of business on September 13, 2019.