In volatile trade, the benchmark Sensex today slipped from five-week high levels and closed over 24 points lower on fag-end selling in bluechips including Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors and ONGC, amid mixed global trends.
After yesterday's over 256-point surge, the BSE Sensex index opened higher and gained nearly 90 points to touch day's high of 21,379.29 but succumbed to late selling. It ended 24.31 points, or 0.11 per cent, lower at 21,265.18. The gauge had touched intra-day low of 21,199.65.
In the 30-share barometer, 16 stocks declined led by Bharti Airtel, Cipla Ltd, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, HDFC Bank, Hero MotoCorp and ITC Ltd. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) closed nearly flat ahead of earnings release expected after market hours.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index NSE Nifty eased by 2 points, or 0.03 per cent, to end at 6,318.90.
Telecom stocks faced heavy selling pressure and plunged over 7 per cent amid concerns that Reliance Jio Infocomm's participation in the upcoming spectrum auction will hurt market share and profitability of existing telecom players.
Shares of Idea Cellular tanked 7.25 per cent, Bharti Airtel tumbled 4.84 per cent and Reliance Communications lost 4.18 per cent.
Bucking the overall downtrend, stocks of HCL Technologies spurted by 4.23 per cent after company reported 58.4 per cent growth in quarterly profit for the period ended December 31.
In the auto segment, Bajaj Auto gained 0.66 per cent after company reported a 10.48 per cent increase in standalone net profit for the third quarter ended December 31.
Axis Bank scrip ended marginally down after reporting 19 per cent increase in quarterly net profit at Rs 1,604 crore.
Brokers said the emergence of profit-booking after yesterday's rally and a mixed trend in the global markets mainly influenced the trading