The oil and gas sector led by Reliance Industries and auto stocks were in demand on expectations of a hike in product prices.

The BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday closed 76 points down as investors indulged in trimming their positions ahead of the quarterly earning season.

The Sensex ended with a loss of 75.93 points, or 0.38 per cent to 19,666.59. The gauge touched the day’s high of 19,824.06.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 30.20 points, or 0.50 per cent, to 5,971.50, after rising to 6,020.10.

Brokers said the market moved between gains and losses after a drop in software exporting companies, countering a rise in auto and healthcare sectors.

Market is likely to be volatile for this remaining week and may also witness profit-booking on rallies, he added.

In 30-BSE index kitty, 19 shares declined led by software exporters, consumer durables and metal sectors. A recovery in auto, refinery and drugmaker sectors capped a major loss.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd fell by 1.74 per cent to Rs 1,275.75 and second most heavy and software exporter Infosys by 0.56 per cent to Rs 2,328.20 before its earnings on Friday.

The oil and gas sector led by Reliance Industries and auto stocks were in demand on expectations of a hike in product prices.

Tata Motors Ltd, owner of Jaguar and Land Rover, jumped by 3.98 per cent to a record high of Rs 326.65 after Credit Suisse Group raised the target price.

The FMCG sector suffered the most by losing 1.26 per cent to 5,810.51 as ITC retreated 1.93 per cent to Rs 279.80 and Hindustan Unilever, the biggest household products maker, shed 0.91 per cent to Rs 520.36.

In the metal sector, Tata Steel, the biggest maker of the alloy, fell 2.54 per cent to Rs 422.70, while mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp, fell by 1.04 per cent to Rs 830.90.

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