Fag-end value buying contained intra-day losses on Thursday and the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed lower by just 63 points amid this month's settlement in the derivatives segment and a weak trend in global markets.
Sensex, which had dipped below the 17k mark intra-day, recovered somewhat and closed at 17,058.61, down 63.01 points or 0.37% as the last 30-minute buying curtailed losses.
The NSE 50-issue index Nifty fell 15.90 points, or 0.31% to 5,178.85, after a low of 5,135.95.
The market remained in bear-grip for major part of the day as investors off-loaded their pending positions on current month's expiry in the derivative contracts settlement, brokers said.
Besides, falling rupee ignited fears of inflation on account of costly imports and raised concerns the RBI may not cut interest rates at next month's monetary policy meet.
A weak trend in the global markets further influenced the sentiment.
The IT sector led the fall as software exporters worried a weakening trend in overseas markets might hurt their business. Over 80% of the software business comes from the US and European markets.
The second most heaviest on the Sensex - Infosys fell by 1.78% to Rs 2,791 and segment major TCS by 1.71% to Rs 1,143.25.
The capital goods sector index suffered the most by losing 1.61% to 9,834.68 followed by IT index by 1.17% to 5,951.18. Teck index lost 1.01% to 3,492.76 and FMCG index by 0.65% to 4,443.47.
The major Sensex losers were Reliance Industries, State Bank of India, Larsen and Toubro, Bharti Airtel, BHEL, M&M, Tata Steel, Cipla, HDFC Bank and ICICI.