In its first drop in seven days, the benchmark Sensex today retreated from record highs and ended 106 points down at 26,314.29 as investors booked gains in oil and gas, FMCG and capital goods scrips amid mixed global cues.
Losses in counters like ONGC, GAIL, RIL, SBI, Axis Bank, Mahindra and Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, ITC and Larsen & Toubro mainly weighed on the market sentiment. Bucking the general weak trend, pharma sector stocks such as Dr Reddys Lab, Ranbaxy Cipla and Sun Pharma ended higher-providing investors some relief.
The BSE Sensex ended down 106.38 points, or 0.40%, to end at 26,314.29 after surging to 26,504.52 intra-day. On Tuesday, the 30-share benchmark had ended at its all-time closing high of 26,420.67 and had also logged intra-day life high of 26,530.67.
In previous six days of straight gains, it had gained over 1,091 points. The NSE Nifty in early trade hit a new high of 7,922.70 but slipped below the 7,900-mark to close at 7,875.30, down 22.20 points or 0.28%. Its earlier all-time closing high was 7,897.50. On Tuesday, it had touched intra-day record high of 7,918.55.
In previous six days, it rose 329 points. "Investors booked profits after the recent surge which saw them reach record high levels. Buying interest was seen in IT and pharma stocks on account of a weak rupee against the dollar," said Rakesh Goyal, senior vice president, Bonanza Portfolio. Sectorwise, the BSE Oil and gas index suffered the most by falling 1.32%, followed by FMCG Index 0.70% and Auto Index 0.56%.
However, Healthcare index ended 2.93% higher, Power index 0.73%, Realty index 0.52% and IT index 0.23%. Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs. 559.39 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
In Asia, most indices edged higher following a positive lead from Wall Street, where stocks picked up on encouraging US data before a keynote speech this week by Fed chief.
However, Europe's main stock markets dipped at the start of trading on Wednesday after two days of strong gains. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.12% and Frankfurt's DAX 30 edged down 0.05%. The CAC 40 index in Paris also lost 0.10%.