Markets retreated from all-time high levels on Friday, with BSE benchmark Sensex losing over 86 points and NSE Nifty over 20 points as cautious investors booked profit in auto, refinery and banking shares ahead of release of latest inflation data and corporate earning season.
After trading in a narrow range, the 30-share Sensex ended at 22,628.96, a loss of 86.37 points or 0.38% from its previous close, to snap two days of gains.
It had gained by 371.88 points or 1.66% in the previous two trading days. The NSE 50-share Nifty also moved down by 20.10 points or 0.30% to finish at 6,776.30.
For the week, however, the Sensex had gained over 1%.
"FIIs remained strong buyers of Indian equities. The broad theme remained the same with domestic cyclicals outperforming the IT and FMCG sectors, said Dipen Shah, head, private client group research, Kotak Securities.
A worse than expected trade data also hit the sentiment in the day. Exports declined 3.15% in March, and fell short of the 2013-14 target by about $13 billion. Showing slowdown in the economic activities, imports were down by 8.1% for the fiscal.
Auto shares declined as domestic passenger car sales declined 5.08% to 1,71,489 units in March as compared to 1,80,675 units in the year-ago month.
Major losers were M&M at 1.75%, Tata Motors 1.75%. Blue-chip RIL was down by 1.65%. SBI another top loser at 1.61%.
Selling pressure was seen at higher levels as investors booked profits and weak global markets also impacted the market sentiment, said Nidhi Saraswat, senior research analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
"The sentiment was bearish in the absence of any positive trigger and prevailing caution ahead of the release of IIP data later in the day (after market hours) and retail inflation data early next week," said Jayant Manglik, president, retail distribution, Religare Securities.
Infosys is expected to announced its March quarter results on April 15.
Of the 30-share Sensex scrips, 19 ended lower while 11 others finished higher.
Top losers also included Gail India (1.59%), Hero Motocorp (1.52%), Hindalco (1.47%), HUL (1.38%), Larsen (1.36%), Maruti Suzuki (1.30%), SSLT (1.21%) and Tata Power (1.15%).
Sun Pharma rose by 1.87%, followed by TCS 1.75%, Wipro 1.34%, Cipla 1.16%, Infosys 0.91% and Dr Reddy's Lab 0.83%.
The market breadth, however, remained positive as 1,539 stocks finished in the green while 1,267 stocks ended in the red.
Among the BSE sectoral indices, Oil&Gas fell by 1.28%, followed by auto 1.20%, Capital Goods 0.98% and Bankex 0.78%, while IT rose by 1.54%, Tech 1.21%.
Jignesh Chaudhary, head of research, Veracity Broking Services said: "Shares were dragged down by a slide in the region as steep falls in US technology and biotechnology stocks are spreading to other sectors and regions.
"Bank shares fell after an RBI panel recommended a slew of measures, including potentially changing how lending rates are set for the sector, raising worries about overall profitability."
Asian stocks ended lower. Indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan dropped by 0.18-2.38%. European markets were also trading lower in their early trade as investors fled global stocks on valuation concerns and slowdown worries about China. Key indices in France, Germany and UK fell by 1.25 -1.40%.