In volatile trade, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday fell by 64 points on selling in oil and gas, FMCG and banking shares as investors churned portfolios ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts on Thursday.
After a better start at 19,978.49, the Sensex failed to sustain gains and touched the day's low of 19,658.74. However, some value-buying in blue-chips in the last one and half hours of trade helped Sensex recoup some losses to end at 19,856.24 -- still down 63.97 points, or 0.32%.
On similar lines, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 18.60 points, or 0.32%, to close at 5,873.85, after shuttling between 5,910.55 and 5,811.10.
Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, ended 72.51 points down at 11,778.7.
"Consistent selling pressure in index heavy weights like Reliance Industries, HUL, HDFC Bank and ITC weighed ...September has been very volatile for the markets owing to quite a few macro-economic events. Global and domestic developments coupled with political happenings continue to worry the markets," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio Limited.
Mixed cues from overseas markets after US consumer confidence slumped in September to a four-month low, further influenced the market sentiment, brokers said.
Major Sensex losers include Reliance Industries which dropped by 2.93%, HDFC Bank (2.78%), ITC (1.36%), HUl (1.52%) and HDFC (1.01%).
Overall, 15 stocks in the 30-share index declined.
Sectorally, the BSE Oil and Gas sector index suffered the most by losing 1.36%, followed by FMCG index (1.12%), Banking index (0.94%) and Realty index (0.56%).
Bucking the general weakening trend, Bharti Airtel, BHEL, Cipla, Dr Reddy's, Hero MotoCorp, Hindalco, L&T, ONGC, Sesa Goa, Tata Motors, TCS and Sun Pharma gained.