Indian stock markets took a breather on Wednesday with benchmark Sensex losing 56 points to retreat from a record as investors booked profits and ended four straight days of gains sparked by hopes of BJP-led NDA forming the next government at Centre.

The Sensex, which had gained 1,547 points in four sessions in which three saw it hitting successive record highs, moved in narrow 211-point band on Wednesday and closed at 23,815.12, down 56.11 points or 0.24 per cent.

On Tuesday, the 30-share bluechip index had ended at its all-time closing high of 23,871.23 after surpassing the 24,000-mark in intra-day trading enthused by exit poll results.

Sectors like IT, healthcare, capital goods and oil&gas saw selling. On the other hand, shares of realty, metal and consumer durables saw fresh buying enquiries.

“Markets opened on a flat note. After a strong rally in last three trading sessions and surging to new all-time highs, today they saw profit-booking,” said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.

Likewise, the 50-scrip NSE barometer Nifty, which had gained 456 points in past four days, concluded flat at 7,108.75 -- its record closing high logged yesterday. During tody’s session it moved between 7,142.25 and 7,080.90. It had made lifetime intra-day high of 7,172.35 in yesterday’s trade.

Traders said the market was in an “over-bought” position and cautious participants preferred to lock some gains.

Among Sensex components, 14 stocks including the likes of Dr Reddys, M&M and HDFC succumbed to profit booking. Tata Steel, Coal India and Bajaj Auto led the 16 winners.

Sectorally, the BSE Oil and Gas sector index suffered the most by losing 0.78 per cent as Reliance Industries fell 1.49 per cent and ONGC by 0.93 per cent. Capital goods index slipped 0.36 per cent. IT index lost 0.31 per cent, Healthcare 0.30 per cent and Auto index 0.03 per cent.

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