In choppy trade, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Monday ended over 27 points lower on profit-booking at higher levels amid reports of a weakening global trend.
In a volatile session, the Sensex opened 100 points down, before surging to a high of 18,005.07 during intra-day trade. However, it failed to hold on to the gains and fell again to close with a loss of 27.40 points at 17,928.42.
Meanwhile, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty surrendered 7.45 points to 5,386.45. During the session, it moved between 5,409.10 and 5,361.50 points.
While the two most valued scrips by market capitalisation on the Sensex, Reliance Industries and Infosys Technologies, declined, banking stocks led by HDFC Bank recorded handsome gains on expectations of a hike in the interest rate by the Reserve Bank to curb inflation.
Reliance Industries fell by Rs 6.70 to Rs 1,056.25, while Infosys lost Rs 8 to Rs 2,770.30 after its rating was lowered by financial services firm First Global. The two stocks carry nearly 23 per cent weightage on the index.
Marketmen said a weakening trend in the Asian region in the wake of weak US markets and a lower opening in Europe this afternoon on sovereign debt concerns dampened the market sentiment.
However, the Sensex's decline was cushioned by strong buying in banking stocks.
Furthermore, activity at Reliance Communications counter on reports that Emirates Telecommunications may buy a stake in the firm helped prop up the market, with RCom stocks rising by Rs 4.15 to Rs 191.25.
During the day, banking and finance segment major HDFC Ltd rose by Rs 29.95 to Rs 3,050.65 and HDFC Bank by Rs 11.65 to Rs 2,050.35.
Canara Bank, a state-run lender, shot up by Rs 19 to Rs 497.70, after quarterly profit surged.
In the 30-BSE index components, 19 stocks declined, while 11 advanced.