Snapping the four-day rally, the BSE benchmark Sensex today fell by 93 points from two-year high levels on emergence of profit-booking in stocks including, L&T, HDFC Bank, ITC and HUL, amid weak global trends.
Selling that was seen since late morning picked up pace in the last half hour of trading with capital goods, realty, FMCG and consumer goods stocks suffering the most.
The Sensex closed 92.66 points down, or 0.47 per cent, to 19,691.42. The 30-share index had gained 358 points in the previous four trading sessions.
Fall in L&T, HDFC Bank, HDFC, ITC, RIL, HUL, Tata Motors, SBI and TCS shares largely contributed to the Sensex downslide. Rise in Infosys, Maruti Suzuki, ONGC, Tata Steel, Cipla and Sun Pharma helped cushion the fall to some extent.
Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 27.75 points, or 0.46 per cent, to end at 5,988.40.
"After showing gains of more than 1.5 per cent last week, Nifty witnessed selling pressure in today's session due to profit-booking and cautious approach above 6000 level," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.
Brokers said the market remained under pressure as cautious investors indulged in profit-booking activity in scrips that gained in the recent days.
A weakening trend in the Asian region and lower opening in Europe led investors to reduce their positions before any technical correction, they added.
Market participants adopted a wait and watch strategy before the beginning of the earning season which is expected to start with Infosys coming out with third quarter numbers on January 11, experts said.
However, Maruti Suzuki surged by 2.59 per cent on reports of CLSA upgrading the stock while Oil and Natural Gas Corp also rose by 1.04 per cent on hopes of fuel price hike.
However, second-line stocks attracted good buying with the BSE-Midcap and BSE-SmallCap indices outperforming the large-cap Sensex and Nifty.
Globally, Asian stocks, barring China which ended with gains, closed with losses up to 0.83 per cent.
European markets, except the UK, also displayed a feeble trend in the afternoon deals. The France's CAC was down by 0.40 per cent and Germany's DAX by 0.37 per cent while the UK's FTSE was up by 0.44 per cent.
Overall, 19 out of 30 Sensex-based counters finished with losses while others settled with gains. L&T was the top loser with a fall of 2.35 per cent, followed by HUL (1.85 pc), HDFC (1.68 pc), HDFC Bank (1.64 pc), Tata Power (1.18