The BSE Sensex failed to hold initial gains and slipped into negative territory by falling over 206 points during mid-session as funds and retail investors indulged in profit-booking amid weak Asian cues.
After rising over 150 points in early trade on the back of a firming trend in global markets coupled with covering-up of short positions by speculators, the Sensex fell back to trade down by 206.85 points, or 0.74 per cent, to 27,494.94 at mid-session as profit-booking wiped off initial gains.
Major losers that pulled down the Sensex and Nifty were metals, realty, consumer durables, oil & gas, IT, PSU, power, healthcare, banking and auto sector stocks.
The 30-share index had rallied by 991.66 points in the past three sessions on the back of positive domestic and global cues.
Similarly, the National Stock Exchange index Nifty, after rising to 8,364.75 at the outset, succumbed to widespread profit-booking and slipped below the 8,300-mark to quote lower by 63.65 points, or 0.76 per cent, at 8,260.35.
Brokers said emergence of profit-booking by funds in stocks that had recently logged gains amidst absence of any fresh trigger and a weak trend at other Asian markets led to the fall in markets.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 335.24 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from stock exchanges.