Erasing 110-point gain in early trade, the BSE Sensex fell for the third straight day today by closing 19 points lower on emergence of profit-booking as investors turned cautious amid India's June exports contracting by 5.45 per cent due to global economic slowdown.
Brokers said the focus has turned to inflation data which is scheduled for July 16 as it may decide Reserve Bank's next move when it meets for for first quarter monetary policy review later in the month.
The BSE benchmark index closed with a loss of 18.85 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 17,213.70. With this, the index has lost over 400 points in three sessions.
Today's losses were cushioned to some extent by Hero MotoCorp, HDFC Bank, TCS and ONGC shares which gained in the 1-1.4 per cent range. Jindal Steel, Hindalco, Tata Power and SBI were among the biggest losers in the 30-share index.
"Almost all sectors witnessed profit-booking. Inflation data shall be announced soon and RBI policy is awaited at the end of month. The events may have short-term impact," said Rakesh Goel, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
Infosys, after announcing a muted sales outlook yesterday, dropped 1.65 per cent while RIL shed around 0.4 per cent.
The downtrend was led by stocks of consumer durable, realty and metal sectors.
Traders said FIIs are in a wait-and-watch mode after the government today set up a committee to prepare fresh norms on the controversial GAAR tax provision to bring greater clarity and prepare a roadmap by September 30 for implementation.
The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost eight points, or 0.15 per cent to 5,227.25, after touching the day's high of 5,267.15.
Meanwhile, Asian stocks were trading positive. Dow Futures as well as European stocks were also in positive zone during trading hours.