Markets shed over 268 points on Monday on hectic selling in some blue-chip stocks on investors casting doubts over valuations after the benchmark Sensex scaled 17- month high on consistent buying in the previous 3 sessions.
Marketmen said huge fund raising by companies by way of public issues and qualified institutional placements had given way to concerns over liquidity in secondary market.
After a particularly weak opening, the barometer index settled the day at 16,866.41, down by a significant 268.14 points or 1.56 per cent from its last close.
The decline followed 2.65 per cent gain in the previous three days which saw the Sensex closing above 17,000 level for the first time in 17 months.
Markets defied stability in Europe as investors booked profits in a belated reaction to sharp losses in world stocks on Friday on lower than expected US job data.
"The market witnessed profit-booking in view of weakness noticed in the overseas markets when Indian bourses were closed. The number of declines was four times that of advances," said Bonanza Portfolio Assistant V-P Avinash Gupta.
Blue-chip Bharti Airtel led the downslide at 8.05 per cent. The stock had jumped more than 4 per cent on Thursday after merger talks with South Africa's MTN were called off.
Among sectoral indices, realty was the worst hit at 3.53 per cent. Tech, metal, bankex and auto lost in the range of 1-3 per cent. FMCG, however, defied the trend to post a gain of over 1 per cent.