A day after scaling the 20000-mark, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index, Sensex, fell from its high level and ended about 60 points down as investors preferred to book profit amid weak global cues.
Snapping a three-day consecutive rally, the BSE 30-share index closed lower by 59.83 points at 19941.72, with most of the losses coming in from RIL, L&T and IT pack.
Markets had regained the 20000-mark on Tuesday after a gap of 32 months on persistent fund flows. Even on Wednesday, the key index rose to a high of 20105.54 in early trade but failed to hold on to gains till the end due to mild profit-booking.
The wide-based index of the National Stock Exchange, Nifty, also slipped below the 6000-level and finished at 5991, down 0.30 per cent.
“Lack of participation by the broader market and worries of continuous selling by local institutions led to Wednesday's cooling,” India Infoline Vice-President (Research) Amar Ambani said.
Reliance Industries, which holds the maximum weight in the Sensex, declined for another day and ended 1.4 per cent down at Rs.1,017.70.
Engineering major L&T dropped by 2.18 per cent to Rs.1,994.70, Reliance Communications by 2.3 per cent to Rs.169.60, Bharti Airtel by 1.5 per cent to Rs.362.20 and ICICI Bank by 0.42 per cent to Rs.1,124.55.
TCS was down by 1.73 per cent at Rs.934.55 and Infosys by 1.53 per cent at Rs.3,002.
With a loss of 2.6 per cent at Rs.119.70, Jaiprakash Associates was the worst performer in the Sensex pack. DLF declined by 1.74 per cent to Rs.352.60.
European stocks were lower in the afternoon trade and U.S. Futures too were quoting down, signalling a lower opening on the Wall Street.
Rupee gains further
Continuing its gaining streak for the sixth day, the rupee on Wednesday strengthened by nine paise to close at a fresh four-month high against the U.S. currency amid heavy portfolio inflows.
At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee closed higher by 9 paise at 45.58/59, level not seen since May 14, when it had ended at 45.21/22. It closed at 45.67/68 on Tuesday. The Reserve Bank of India has fixed the reference rate for the dollar at Rs.45.53 and for the euro at Rs.60.58.