The barometer, in early trade, crossed the 22,000 level for the second time in as many days but later succumbed to profit booking in bluechips lead by Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and Tata Steel.
The 30-share index settled at 21,826.42 points, down by 108.41 points, or 0.49 per cent, from the previous close.
Buoyed by nearly 1,000-point rally in the previous five sessions, the Sensex breached the 22,000 level for the first time yesterday but closed at 21,934.83, still an all-time high.
Similarly, the Nifty of National Stock Exchange rose to a high of 6,562.85 points during the day, but later closed down by 25.35 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 6,511.90.
Reports of dip in export and imports and a weak trend in European markets on slowing growth in China hit the market sentiment, brokers said.
After recording positive growth for seven consecutive months, exports contracted by 3.67 per cent in February although the trade deficit showed a marked improvement mainly on account of a significant decline in gold imports.
Profit booking at higher levels after the five-day rally also influenced the sentiment, they said.
Among 30-BSE index components, 18 stocks declined. Tata Steel, Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and Mahindra and Mahindra posted losses up to 5.52 per cent. Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma, Coal India, Bajaj India, ITC and Dr Reddy's Lab were also among losers.
Bucking the trend, stocks of Tata Power, Reliance Infra and Reliance Power gained.
The metal sector index suffered the most by losing 3.44 per cent followed by healthcare index by 0.99 per cent.
The auto index lost 0.64 per cent and capital goods index by 0.64 per cent.
NSE Nifty falls 0.4 pct, retreats from record, BSE Sensex fails to hit another high
(Reuters) India's NSE Nifty index provisionally fell, retreating from a record high hit earlier in the day, as investors booked profits in some recent outperformers such as Reliance Industries ahead of key inflation data.
Markets Top Gainers, Markets Top Losers
The NSE Nifty provisionally fell 0.4 percent to end at 6,511.90, below a record high of 6,562.85 hit earlier in the day and snapping a five-day winning streak.
The BSE Sensex fell 0.4 percent to end at 21,845.18, although the index did not hit a record high on Tuesday.
Live: BSE Sensex