The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Monday fell by over 80 points in volatile trade amid a row between regulators SEBI and IRDA over insurance products linked to the stock market.
The 30-share index settled at 17,853 points, a loss of 80.14 points over the previous close. The barometer had opened higher by 62 points.
The National Stock Exchange index Nifty closed 22.05 points lower at 5,339.70 points.
Brokers said that despite positive factors like a further rise in industrial growth, trading sentiment dampened as market regulator SEBI barred 14 life insurance companies from issuing unit-linked insurance products.
Insurance sector regulator IRDA, however, asked insurers to ignore ban and continue business as usual.
Profit-booking in capital goods, auto and banking stocks mainly pulled down the market, they added.
The market also remained jittery ahead of the Reserve Bank of India policy meeting on April 20, fearing that the rising inflation might force the central bank to raise key rates.
Among major losers, Tata Motors fell by 3.24 per cent, Larsen by 2.04 per cent, M&M by 2 per cent, Sterlite by 1.88 per cent, NTPC by 1.65 per cent, Tata Power by 1.45 per cent and RCOM by 1.37 per cent.
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE Capital-Goods slipped by 180.45 points or 1.25 per cent, the BSE-Auto by 66.45 pts or 0.85 per cent and the Bankex by 91.66 pts or 0.84 per cent. However, firming FMCG, realty, teck and IT stocks saved the market from any eventuality.
In the 30-BSE index components, 18 stocks closed lower.
Asian markets ended mixed today as the key benchmark indices in Singapore, Japan and Taiwan rose up to 1.06 per cent and indices in China, Hong Kong and South Korea fell by between 0.32 per cent and 0.82 per cent.