The benchmark Sensex fell for the seventh straight session and ended 88 points lower in choppy trade on Wednesday after a rise in retail prices spurred worries the RBI would increase rates again to contain inflation.
Weak global cues on fresh talk of the U.S. tapering its stimulus also kept the market under pressure.
Realty, FMCG, IT and banking sector stocks declined, while auto counters were in demand after decent second quarter results by Mahindra & Mahindra.
ITC, HDFC Bank and TCS were among the shares that dragged the index lower, while Tata Motors and Mahindra supported it.
The 30-share S&P BSE Sensex moved erratically in a range of 20161.64 to 20365.59 before ending at 20194.40, a fall of 87.51 points. The 50-share CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange declined 28.45 points, or 0.47 per cent, to end at 5989.60.
Rupee up 41 paise
The rupee gained against the dollar for the first time in six days and added 41 paise to close at 63.30 on Wednesday on fresh sales of the U.S. currency by exporters and by state-run banks on behalf of the Reserve Bank of India. Capital inflows supported the rupee after initial weakness as the dollar strengthened overseas and stocks fell.