Hit by nearly 6 per cent loss in Tata Motors, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed 103 points lower to end below 20,000-level amid investors booking profits in realty, auto, metal and power sectors.
After a good start at 20,072.28, the Sensex fell by 102.83 points, or 0.51 per cent to settle at a one-week low of 19,923.78 as Tata Motors, GAIL and Cipla logged heavy losses.
Tata Motors slumped 5.9 per cent after reports stated the company issued a profit warning at Jaguar Land Rover unit.
Realty space saw selling today with HDIL tanking over 22 per cent, continuing its poor performance after a top official sold shares in open market a few days ago. Others like Unitech, Anant Raj and Sobha dropped in 5-7 per cent range, pulling down BSE Realty index by over 4 per cent.
"Many realty firms are perceived to be low on the governance parameter," said IIFL Head of Research Amar Ambani.
On similar lines, the broad-based National Stock Exchange ined Nifty fell by 34.95 points, or 0.58 per cent to end at one-week low of 6,019.35, after touching 6,007.85.
"The Nifty opened on a muted note and profit booking across the board ensured a weak closing near the psychological level of 6,000," said Shubham Agarwal, Associate VP and Senior Technical Equities Analyst, Motilal Oswal Securities.
Interest-rate sensitive stocks, like ICICI Bank, HDFC and SBI, logged losses ahead of cautious stance adopted by market participants ahead of the RBI policy meeting on January 29.
GAIL was down 4.66 percent while Cipla shed 3.67 percent.
However, rise in ITC, HUL, TCS and ONGC restricted the sensex fall to some extent. Construction and engineering giant, L&T, gained 1.56 per cent following good Q3 results.
Second-line stocks continued their downward move with BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices finishing sharply lower by 2.51 per cent and 2.44 per cent respectively.
Total market breadth continued to remain negative as 1,674 stocks finished lower while 535 ended higher.
Globally, Asian stocks ended mostly lower following earnings reports of Apple and Hyundai Motor Co.
Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea fell upto 0.46 per cent, while indices in Japan and Singapore rose by 0.32 per cent to 0.85 per cent.
However, European markets were trading better in the afternoon deals. Key indices from France, Germany and UK were quoting higher up to 0.28 per cent.
Commenting on Indian markets, Kishor P. Ostwal, CMD, CNI Research said: "The most vulnerable sell-off