The market came off its five-week high as the benchmark Sensex today recorded its first drop in seven sessions, falling by about 171 points, even as the Nifty cracked below the 7,500-mark due to profit-booking amid mixed global leads.
The 30-share gauge opened higher and rose further before profit-booking in recent gainers took hold, which pulled it down to 24,623.34 at the close, loss of 170.62 points, or 0.69 per cent.
Some strength in the rupee prevented further blows.
The index had risen about 1,792 points in the past six sessions, its longest winning run since October last year.
The 50-share NSE Nifty broke below the crucial 7,500 level and settled lower by 45.65 points, or 0.61 per cent, at 7,486.15.
Intra-day, it shuttled between 7,447.40 and 7,547.10.
The upmove in the previous six sessions mostly came on the back of continued foreign fund inflows and expectations that RBI would reduce the policy rate.
Of the 30-pack Sensex, 20 ended with losses and 10 higher.
The rupee firmed up by 22 paise to 66.99 against the dollar (intra-day).
Moreover, a mixed closing at other Asian markets and a lower opening in Europe showed up in sentiment.
Investors waited for a policy update from the European Central Bank.
Shares of BHEL melted the most falling 2.93 per cent to Rs 104.50, followed by RIL (2.92 per cent) at Rs 1,011.50.
The country’s second-largest IT exporter Infosys too slid 2.51 per cent to Rs 1,148.90 after reports that some of its founders sold off shares.
Other that contributed to the fall include GAIL, L&T, SBI, ITC, Axis Bank, Dr Reddy’s, M&M and Hero MotoCorp.
Asian Paints, HDFC, Maruti Suzuki, Bharti Airtel, Cipla, Sun Pharma, NTPC, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Tata Steel and Tata Motors rose, thus cushioning the fall.
The BSE capital goods index took the biggest knock, down 1.70 per cent, followed by IT 1.33 per cent, technology 1.21 per cent, oil and gas 1.05 per cent and realty 1.04 per cent.
In line with the overall trends, the broader markets witnessed selling, with the mid-cap index declining 0.32 per cent and small-cap shedding 0.18 per cent.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 462.86 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.