The BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday closed 76 points down as investors indulged in trimming their positions ahead of the quarterly earning season.
The Sensex ended with a loss of 75.93 points, or 0.38% to 19,666.59. The gauge touched the day's high of 19,824.06.
Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 30.20 points, or 0.50%, to 5,971.50, after rising to 6,020.10.
Brokers said bucking a firming global trend, the investor fraternity indulged in reducing their positions before the quarterly earning season starting with Infosys on Friday.
They said the market moved between gains and losses after a drop in software exporting companies, countering a rise in auto and healthcare sectors.
Today Nifty pared all its gains of yesterday’s session and once again fell below 6,000 level as investors booked profits in rallies. Also a cautious approach ahead of IIP numbers and Q3 results led to the selling pressure, said Nidhi Sarswat, Senior Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.
Market is likely to be volatile for this remaining week and may also witness profit-booking on rallies, he added.
In 30-BSE index kitty, 19 shares declined led by software exporters, consumer durables and metal sectors. A recovery in auto, refinery and drugmaker sectors capped a major loss.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd fell by 1.74% to Rs. 1,275.75 and second most heavy and software exporter Infosys by 0.56% to Rs. 2,328.20 before its earnings on Friday.
The oil and gas sector led by Reliance Industries and auto stocks were in demand on expectations of a hike in product prices might improve revenues.
Tata Motors Ltd, owner of Jaguar and Land Rover, jumped by 3.98% to a record high of Rs. 326.65 after Credit Suisse Group raised the target price.
The FMCG sector suffered the most by losing 1.26% to 5,810.51 as ITC retreated 1.93% to Rs. 279.80 and Hindustan Unilever, the biggest household products maker, shed 0.91% to Rs. 520.36.
In the metal sector, Tata Steel, the biggest maker of the alloy, fell 2.54% to Rs. 422.70, while mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp, fell by 1.04% to Rs. 830.90.