Erasing initial gains, the BSE benchmark Sensex today fell over 34 points as investors booked profits in auto, banking and healthcare stocks amid a weak trend in the European markets.
The BSE 30-share index, Sensex, which rallied nearly 265 points to hit the day's high of 16,766.19 in the early trade, succumbed to profit-booking and settled 34.30 points down at 16,467.44 points. It had plunged almost 665 points in the past two trading sessions.
Brokers said the selling was triggered by a slide in the European markets in the opening trade, on account of the deepening euro-zone crisis, and paring of initial gains on the Asian bourses.
They said fears of another hike in interest rates by the Reserve Bank later this week, too had a negative impact on the trading sentiments, forcing players to keep their commitments restricted.
Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty ended in the negative territory with a marginal fall of 5.85 points at 4,940.95, after touching the day's high of 5,030.15 and a low of 4,911.05.
Bucking the trend, the two most heaviest on the Sensex with 20% weight - Reliance Industries and Infosys -managed to close in the positive zone and averted major any fall. RIL rose by 0.61%, while IT bellwether Infosys was down 1.21%.
Major losers, which dragged the Sensex down, were State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Larsen and Toubro, HDFC Ltd, Tata Motors, Coal India, Cipla and ONGC.