The benchmark Sensex on Tuesday succumbed to a flurry of selling in the last one hour to give up initial gains and extend its losses for the fifth straight session to end 30 points down at over nine-week low.
The BSE 30-share barometer resumed better and rallied further to a high of 28,455.32, up by 263 points, on sustained capital inflows amid Asian Development Bank's (ADB) painting a positive outlook of India's economic growth.
However, a brief period of heavy selling mainly in auto, banking and IT shares at the fag-end pulled it down to a low of 28,130.09, before settling at 28,161.72, showing a fall of 30.30 points or 0.11%. Today's fall takes the Sensex to its lowest closing in over nine weeks since January 16.
Similarly, the 50-issue NSE Nifty moved erratically in a range of 8,627.75 and 8,535.85 before ending at 8,542.95, a net fall of 7.95 points or 0.09%. In five straight day, the NSE index has shed about 180 points.
Traders said volatility was mainly due to rolling over of positions in the futures and options segment from the near month March to April series. March derivative contracts will expire on Thursday.
On Sensex, scrips like, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, Infosys, SBI, ICICI Bank, HUL and Hero MotoCorp suffered losses.
Tata Motors suffered the most among Sensex stocks by plunging 3.27% ahead of company's board meet on Wednesday to consider rights issue.
However, rise in HDFC, Bharti Airtel, Sun Pharma, RIL, Dr Reddy's Lab and Wipro among others cushioned the fall to a major extent.
Pharma stocks attracted buyers' attention after Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy got approval from the CCI for sale of seven brands to Emcure Pharma to comply with the fair trade watchdog's conditional nod for their USD 4-billion merger.
Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) bought Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 417.41 crore and Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 403.91 crore on Monday as per provisional data.
Asian stocks ended mixed after a preliminary March reading of Chinese manufacturing activity dropped to 11-month low levels. Key indices in Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan moved down by 0.21% to 0.39% while indices in China, South Korea and Singapore firmed up by 0.09% to 0.23%.
European markets reversed initial gains today after the outcome of a survey showed that Germany's private sector grew at its strongest rate since July 2014 this month. Key indices like France and Germany moved up by 0.07% to 0.09% while the UK's FTSE was quoting lower by 0.01%.
Major Sensex gainers include Bharti Airtel (2.86%), Dr Reddy's Lab (1.73%), NTPC (1.63%), Gail India (1.62%), Sesa Sterlite (1.57%), Sun Pharma (1.55%), Cipla (1.23%), HDFC (1.14%), Wipro (1.14%) and BHEL (1.12%).
Laggards include Tata Motors 3.27%, Hindalco 1.88%, HUL 1.59%, SBI 1.57%, Tata Steel 1.16% and Hero MotoCorp 1.14%.
Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Auto fell by 1.17%, followed by Bankex 0.61% and IT 0.50% while Healthcare rose by 1.84%, Consumer Durable 0.9% and Oil & Gas 0.68%.
The total market breadth continued to remain weak as 1,725 stocks ended in red, 1,079 finished in green while 121 ruled steady. Total turnover moved up to Rs 3,053.24 crore from Rs 2,980.57 crore on Monday.