Snapping a four-day rally, the BSE benchmark Sensex today fell over 34 points from its 19-month high to close at 19,305.32 as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of the key vote on FDI in Parliament and mixed trends from global stock markets.
After gaining over 833 points last week, Sensex's biggest weekly gains since last week of November 2011, traders said investors booked profits ahead of the voting on FDI issue.
HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel, Gail and ONGC were among the top losers in Sensex today while Bhel, SBI, Tata Steel and RIL helped cushion the fall.
Market participants also appeared to ignore Morgan Stanley raising India's growth forecast for FY'13 to 5.4 per cent from 5.1 per cent projected earlier.
Selling was seen in front-line stocks while second-line stocks attracted good buying support.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer initially showed some strength but turned negative soon after. It moved in a narrow range, mostly in negative terrain, to settle at 19,305.32, a fall of 34.58 points or 0.18 per cent.
The broader 50-issue S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE also eased by 8.90 points, or 0.15 per cent, to close at 5,870.95.
Stock markets also did not seem enthused by reports that HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) Ė a measure of factory production - registered the fastest pace in five months and stood at 53.7 in November.
Lack of a clear direction from global stocks also did not help domestic market sentiment as Asian stocks ended mixed while European indices were trading higher in afternoon deals.
Asian stocks ended on a mixed note today after reports said China's manufacturing sector expanded in November. Key indices from China, Hong Kong and Singapore ended lower, while those from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan ended higher.
European markets, however, exhibited a firm trend in the afternoon deals. France's CAC was up by 0.53 per cent, the DAX by 0.44 per cent and the FTSE by 0.24 per cent.
Turning to the local market, 17 scrips out of the Sensex pack ended with losses while 13 scrips closed with gains.
Major losers from the Sensex were HDFC Bank (2.37 pc), Bharti Airtel (1.76 pc), Gail India (1.06 pc), ONGC (0.89 pc), NTPC (0.89 pc), Tata Motors (0.80 pc) and ITC (0.70 pc).
On the other hand, BHEL firmed up by 1.59 per cent, SBI by 1.53 per cent, Tata Steel