After dropping 157 points in early trade amid weak global cues, the Sensex on Friday recouped some losses in the latter half on the back of continued strength in IT stocks to end the day with a 37-point fall.
Selling in bluechips led by auto sector on reports of lower vehicle sales and funds offloading power and capital goods shares weighed on the market sentiment, traders said.
The Sensex, which lost 289 points in past two sessions, fell further by 37 points, or 0.18%, to end at 20,851.33. The gauge had touched the day's low of 20,731.33 before sustained buying in IT, healthcare and consumer durables scrips helped trim initial losses for the index.
L&T, Tata Motors and RIL dragged the Sensex down while Infosys, TCS and HDFC Bank were among the 11 gainers.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell 10 points, or 0.16%, to end at 6,211.15, after touching to a low of 6,171.25. Also, SX40 index of MCX-SX closed 50.62 points lower at 12,384.67.
Brokers said the falling auto sales in December dashed hopes of investors. Tata Motors dropped 2.49% after the automaker reported 42% fall in December sales, while Mahindra and Mahindra lost 3.85%.
A weakening trend in the Asian region after a steep fall as gauge of China manufacturing declined in December, also dampened the sentiment, they added.
Bucking the trend, IT stocks led by Infosys advanced on weakening rupee. Infosys surged 2.61% while Tata Consultancy Services rose by 2.76%. The rupee was trading at 62.2 versus US dollar.
Sectorally, the BSE Power sector index suffered the most by losing 1.74%, followed by capital goods index (1.71%), Oil and Gas index (1.27%) and Metal index (1.20%).
Yesterday, US stocks kicked off the new year in the red, falling in a sell-off following solid gains in 2013. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 135.31 points and the S&P 500 declined 16.38 points.