The benchmark BSE Sensex today fell for the first time in three sessions and slipped by over 50 points on selling in IT, banking and realty shares as investors churned portfolios with the calendar year drawing to a close.
The BSE Sensex, which had gained 160.87 points in previous two sessions, fell by 50.57 points, or 0.24 per cent to close at 21,143.01, after touching a low of 21,089.21.
Infosys Ltd, ICICI Bank and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) were a drag of the 30-share index. Bajaj Auto and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd were among 16 Sensex losers. Monthly auto sales are scheduled for release day after tomorrow.
However, BHEL and Coal India led the 14 Sensex gainers.
Sesa Sterlite firmed up after it resume mining operations in Karnataka after two years.
The broad-based 50-share NSE Nifty index declined by 22.70 points, or 0.36 per cent, to end at 6,291.10, and touched the day's low of 6,273.15. Also, SX40 index of MCX Stock Exchange slid by 41.89 points to 12,552.70.
Brokers said profit-booking in recent gainers in IT, including Wipro, and industrial stocks. Absence of foreign investors due to year-end also reduced the volume of activity.
The rupee was trading lower at 62-level versus dollar.
Rate-sensitive stocks declined after RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan today said high inflation is limiting the central bank's ability to boost growth with an accommodative monetary policy.
However, there was a lot of activity in midcap and smallcap scrips. Cement stocks declined on fears related to further pricing pressures while rail stocks were in demand on FDI buzz, said analysts.
Trent jumped 2 per cent on hopes that FIPB would clear Tesco's USD 110 million investment in multi-brand retail.
Welspun Corp surged 10 per cent on the company exiting from its JV with Leighton for USD 99 million.
Sectorally, the BSE Realty sector index suffered the most by losing 1.59 per cent, followed by IT index (0.85 per cent), Banking index (0.67 per cent) and Auto index (0.45 per