The BSE benchmark Sensex extended its losing run to the fourth day on Monday, by ending 12.45 points down at a fresh four-month low of 18,437.78 as investors trimmed positions in IT, capital goods and banking shares ahead of the earnings season.
The 30-share Sensex remained volatile before ending with a loss of 12.45 points, or 0.07%, to 18,437.78, levels last seen in November 2012. The index had lost over 590 points in last three sessions. The gauge shuttled between 18,504.48 and 18,402.93 during the session in muted trading.
Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty declined 10.30 points, or 0.19%, to 5,542.95, after moving between 5,569.20 and 5,537.05 range.
"Markets remained highly range-bound with negative bias but some stocks saw buying at lower levels. This week shall be highly crucial in deciding near term trend as IIP data and inflation shall be released. Also, quarterly results for the last quarter will start coming out later this week," said Rakesh Goel, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
Among Sensex components, 13 stocks declined led by Infosys, TCS, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Ltd, Larsen and Toubro, Jindal Steel and Sterlite.
The IT sector index suffered the most by losing 0.98% to 6,664.93 points after Infosys fell 1.07% to Rs. 2,833.15 ahead of Friday earnings. The capital goods sector index also hit hard as it lost 0.87% to 8,836.85 on L&T sliding fell 1.78% to Rs. 1,324.80.
Banking sector dropped by 0.79% to 12,642.35 points as state-run SBI ended 1.09% down at Rs. 2,033.95 and ICICI Bank fell 0.92%.
Shares of Bharti Airtel, however, gained 3.90% to end at Rs. 281.20 after the Supreme Court allowed the 3G roaming pacts to continue till next date of hearing.
RCOM rose 4.52% amid reports that it is planning to sell majority stake in its subsidiary, Reliance Globalcom.
Gains in stocks of RIL, GAIL, BHEL, Cipla, Dr Reddy, HUL, Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma, Tata Power and Tata Motors avoided any sharp fall in benchmark indices.