The BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday crossed the 21,000-mark after nearly three years but frittered away the gains to close 42 points down as cautious investors booked profits ahead of next week’s RBI monetary policy meet and monthly expiry of derivative contracts.

The bluechip index, which had surged to 21,039.42 at the outset for the first time since November 2010, gave up gains to close down 42.45 points, or 0.20 per cent, at 20,725.43.

19 Sensex stocks declined led by Reliance Industries, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. Coal India, BHEL, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, Dr Reddy’s, Jindal Steel, NTPC and Tata Steel also saw losses.

“The Sensex opened on a strong note despite negative global cues. A sharp drop in crude oil prices may have aided market sentiments,” said Sanjeev Zarbade, Vice President — Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.

On similar lines, the 50-scrip National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 14 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 6,164.35, after climbing to 6,252.45. Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, closed at 12,331.32, down 7.5 points.

Across the market, IT, Power and Realty shares ended the session in negative zone while Capital Goods, Auto and Consumer Durables closed in the green.

Brokers said the rally fizzled out as investors judged the rally as overdone. Also, a section of the market appeared worried after recent disappointments in earnings led by Jet Airways and Ambuja Cements and booked profits, they added.

Sectorally, the IT sector index suffered the most by losing 1.77 per cent, followed by Teck index (1.53 per cent), Power index (1.14 per cent) and Realty index (1.12 per cent).

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