The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex failed to preserve early gains on Wednesday and closed with a loss of nearly 80 points, the third decline in a row.
The Sensex, which had recorded a gain 138 points at the outset, tumbled to end 80.57 points lower at 10,817.54. The key index touched the day's high 11,036.24 and a low of 10,715.66.
Similarly, the 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell 35.00 points at 3,330.30, after rising to 3,401.10 points and dipping to 3,296.90 points.
Seven in the Sensex pack, led by Reliance Industries and ACC, closed higher and averted any major fall. However, the other 23 ended with losses.
Marketmen said the surge in share prices of firms such as Bharti Airtel, Maruti Udyog and DLF Ltd in the past few sessions attracted profit selling by speculators at existing higher levels.
They said trading sentiment remained bearish with the general elections on and the opinion polls showing no clear winner. ACC Ltd gained 5.26 per cent to Rs 645.75, after the biggest cement maker said first-quarter profit rose 13 per cent, better than market expectations.