After rising over 200 points, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday crumbled under profit booking pressure to close 22 points down, extending losses for the third straight day, amid gloomy export data for November.
The Sensex, which had lost 77 points in last two sessions, went up by 202 points in initial trades to touch a 23-month migh of 19612.18 on solid buying.
However, markets wilted after data showed country's exports dipped for the seventh straight month in November by 4.17% to US$22.3 billion.
A spate of profit-booking in counters that have recently run up kept the 30-share Sensex in negative terrain thereon and the index closed at 19,387.14 -- a drop of 22.55 points, or 0.12% over Monday.
"Profit-booking was why markets came down after hitting multi-month highs. However, the outlook on reforms remains good as investors feel government will be able to push through Banking Bill etc. after having got Parliament's nod for more difficult FDI in retail," Rikesh Vinod Parikh, vice president – Equities, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
Interest-senstive sectors led by realty suffered the most amid reports that the Reserve Bank of India may decide against a interest rate cut on December 18.
Among Sensex components, 20 stocks declined led by heavy-weights including Reliance Industries, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and State Bank of India.
Brokers said the trading sentiment dampened on renewed concerns about current account deficit after trade deficit came at US$19.28 billion in November.
Investors refrained from creating fresh positions ahead of the IIP and WPI data later this week, they added.
The National Stock Excange index Nifty declined 10.10 points, or 0.17% to 5,898.80. It touched a high of 5,965.15 intra-day.
Globally, stock markets were trading mixed ahead of the US Fed policy meeting and reports of some progress on the US budget talks.