Markets retreated in a much-awaited profit-taking move after a spectacular pullback rally amid caution ahead of the factory output and inflation data as the benchmark CNX Nifty slumped 62 points on NSE today.
Financials, technology, energy, auto, capital goods and metal stocks alongwith key heavyweights succumbed to fresh bouts of unwinding. FMCG and healthcare, however, withstood selling.
Over a string of five trading sessions, the benchmark had added over 570 points mainly driven by a combination of big bang financial sector reforms aimed at bolstering economic growth and stabilise the beleaguered currency against the backdrop of easing geopolitical worries.
After opening firm, bourses soon encountered selling and investors' cautiousness ahead of key macro economic data later in the day. It hovered in red throughout the session amid high volatility before hitting fresh intraday low in late afternoon trade as weak hands sold off their long positions after recent short covering rally.
Traders were seen booking profits mainly in banking shares which had spearheaded the recent upsurge following the fresh measures from the RBI.
However, emergence of low-level buying in FMCG and healthcare counters helped the key indices to cut short its early losses.
Sluggishness in peer European bourses and resurgence of Fed tapering fears too weighed on sentiment.
Meanwhile, most Asian bourses managed to close higher despite ongoing speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin tapering its asset purchase program at next week's policy meeting. While Japan's Nikkei fell back on weaker than expected macro data.
The 50-share Nifty plummeted by 62.45 points, or 1.06 per cent over its last close to conclude at 5,850.70. The NSE barometer touched a high of 5,932 and a low of 5,815.80 in early trade.
Jaiprakash Associates was among the major losers from the index bunch, tumbling by 11 per cent. Indusind Bank, Tata Steel, BHEL, ONGC, Heromotoco, Maruti, Grasim, BPCL and Hindalco were other laggards from the index bunch.
Notable gainers included Tata Power, IDFC, ITC, GAIL,
Ranbaxy, Lupin, Cipla, Ultracemco, HCL Tech and NTPC.
Turnover in the cash segment declined to Rs 12,999.01
crore from 13,820.36 crore yesterday. A total of 8,339.86 lakh
shares changed hands in 69,46,169 trades. The market capitalisation stood at Rs