After a fluctuation of 323 points during the day, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex ended nearly 55 points lower on investors booking profits at higher levels.
The Sensex, which touched the day's high of 15,563.74 and a low of 15,240.73 points, closed with a loss of 55.34 points at 15,411.47 on heavyweight stocks of Reliance Industries and Infosys falling sharply. The two stocks carry nearly 27 per cent weight on the Sensex.
The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 17.55 points at 4,637.70. It moved between 4,679.55 and 4,586.15 points during the day.
Selling pressure picked up as market participants booked profits at higher levels.
An undercurrent of the market remained bullish as the 30 Sensex shares traded at 18 times the estimated earnings this year, the highest in Asia after Japan, China and Taiwan.
However, a rise in metal stocks following a steep increase in base metal prices in the global markets on easing concerns of recession saved the market from any major fall.