Falling for first time in five sessions, BSE benchmark Sensex Monday retreated from 30-month high levels by losing 62 points to close at 20,223.98 on profit booking in blue-chips like Bharti Airtel, ONGC, ICICI Bank and Cipla.
After a steady start, Sensex touched intra-day high of 20,443.62 but emergence of profit-selling in ICICI Bank, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddys, Cipla and RIL dragged 30-share index to 20,223.98, a fall of 62.14 points, or 0.31%.
This is the first time in five sessions the Sensex ended in the negative terrain. It had climbed 595 points in past four sessions to touch highest levels since January, 2011.
Similarly, NSE Nifty also dropped by 30.40 points or 0.49% to 6,156.90. It touched an intra-day high of 6,229.45 after November 11, 2010.
SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, also ended 25.02 points down at 11,947.50.
"Markets opened on a strong note on firmness in global markets and surged to new highs. However, profit booking was seen... Auto stocks like M&M, Bajaj Auto and Maruti were in limelight and showed strength while healthcare and consumer durables indices lost more than 1% each," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
Traders said investors and funds were encashing the recent upsurge in select sectors and this 'technical correction' is good for the market health. Banking stocks corrected after they gained recently on hopes of a rate cut while pharma shares slid on fears the new pharma pricing policy may hurt profits, they added.
Outside major indices, Tata Teleservices surged nearly 20%, Hindustan Door by 17.8%, Thomas Cook by 12.4% and KSK Energy by 11.2% on solid buying.
Globally, Asian markets closed better after US equities hit record closing highs last Friday as encouraging economic data prompted investors buy into growth companies.
Key indices from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan closed up while South Korea finished down.
European markets were trading higher in early trade as CAC was up 0.15%, DAX by 0.43% and FTSE by 0.59%.