Falling for the second day in a row the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex closed down by 81 points as investors continued to book profits.
The Sensex, which had lost 60 points in the previous session, fell further by 80.71 points to 19,861.01. The benchmark had climbed to a 32-month high of 20,000 points level on Tuesday.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty also fell by 31.45 points to 5,959.55.
Food inflation accelerating also weighed on sentiment on fears that it might put more pressure on the banks to raise interest rates.
The banking and interest-related counters such as realty were major sufferers as investors withdrew their funds to park their funds in primary market which is flooded with new public offerings.
The banking sector index dropped by 1.43 per cent to 13,746.63 as HDFC Ltd., the biggest mortgage lender, dropped for the first day in four, by losing Rs 4.30 to Rs 727.30 and State-run State Bank of India lost Rs 7.20 to Rs 3,140.55.
The realty sector suffered the most by losing 2.07 per cent to 3,592.40 after DLF Ltd., the largest developer fell for the third straight day by Rs 4.95 to Rs 347.65.
An upsurge in stocks of FMCG, Information Technologies, Auto and healthcare sectors saved the market from any major fall.
Investors were directionless as as Stock makets in Japan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea were closed today for a holiday, marketmen said. European bourses were also weak amid lower closing in the US last night.