In volatile trade, the benchmark Sensex on Thursday slipped from five-week high levels and closed over 24 points lower on fag-end selling in bluechips including Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors and ONGC, amid mixed global trends.
After yesterday's over 256-point surge, the BSE share index opened higher and gained nearly 90 points to touch day's high of 21,379.29 but succumbed to late selling. It ended 24.31 points, or 0.11%, lower at 21,265.18. The gauge had touched intra-day low of 21,199.65.
In the 30-share barometer, 16 stocks declined led by Bharti Airtel, Cipla, Dr Reddy, HDFC Bank, Hero MotoCorp and ITC. Tata Consultancy Services closed nearly flat ahead of earnings release expected after market hours.
However, Coal India, Hindalco and HDFC led 14 Sensex gainers higher.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty eased by 2 points, or 0.03%, to end at 6,318.90.
Telecom stocks faced heavy selling pressure and plunged over 7% amid concerns that Reliance Jio Infocomm's participation in the upcoming spectrum auction will hurt market share and profitability of existing telecom players.
Shares of Idea Cellular tanked 7.25%, Bharti Airtel tumbled 4.84% and Reliance Communications lost 4.18%.
Bucking the overall downtrend, stocks of HCL Technologies spurted by 4.23% after company reported 58.4% growth in quarterly profit for the period ended December 31.
In the auto segment, Bajaj Auto gained 0.66% after company reported a 10.48% increase in standalone net profit for the third quarter ended December 31.
Axis Bank scrip ended marginally down after reporting 19% increase in quarterly net profit at Rs 1,604 crore.
Brokers said the emergence of profit-booking after yesterday's rally and a mixed trend in the global markets mainly influenced the trading sentiment.
Overall, seven out of 12 sectoral indices closed lower.
The BSE Auto sector index suffered the most by losing 0.84%, followed by FMCG index by 0.80%, the Healthcare index 0.57%.