Snapping two-day rally, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex today erased early gains to close the day down by a marginal 36 points, with investors booking profit at existing higher levels.
The key index commenced the day higher by 119 points but could not sustain the gains and closed at 17,195.20, down by 35.91 points from its previous close.
In the past two days, market had registered 588 points.
The National Stock Exchange index Nifty also fell by 9.35 to 5,108.85, after touching the day's high of 5,152.25.
Marketmen attributed the initial surge to Dow Jones Industrial Average in US regaining the 10,000-level after a year. The surge in US stocks were mirrored in Europe and Asia as well where almost all major indices closed higher.
Index stocks Infosys and TCS dropped close to two per cent each after rupee hardened to 13-month high which, analysts said, could hit profits of the software exporters.
Inflation rising to 0.92 per cent for the week ended October 3 also cast a shadow on markets. It is widely feared inflation rising further could exert pressure on the Reserve Bank to reverse its soft money policy.
Banking stocks, however, bucked the trend to post gains. State-run SBI continued its winning stream and closed higher by 2.69 per cent, the highest among all sensex stocks.
Brokers said market leader Reliance Industries faring poorly also dampened the investor spirit. RIL declined 0.31 per cent to Rs 2,171.40.
RIL, Infosys and TCS together carry nearly 25 per cent weight on the Sensex, Among the 30-BSE index stocks, 18 declined while 12 ended with gains.
Dealers said buying support in metal, bank and power stocks better opening in European stocks avoided a steep fall.
Metal stocks firmed up afte reports of base metal prices rising on the London Metal Exchange.
Analysts said sustained capital inflows this year has lifted benchmark index over 17-month high and it is natural for investors to book profits.
Pharma stocks took a severe beating. Experts said strengthening rupee is also expected to hit the pharma companies hard. Sun Pharmac slid 3.5 per cent to Rs 1,359.20. Cipla, a second-largest company by market value, fell 2.89 per cent to Rs 294, Ranbaxy Laboratories fell 1.54 per cent to Rs 392.80 and Dr. Reddy’s Lab by 1.65 per cent to Rs 965.80.
The teck index suffered the most by losing 1.54 per cent to 2,967.39, followed by IT index by 1.37 per cent to 4,381.53. Healthcare index by 1.26 per cent to 4,465.69 and consumer durable index by 1.10 per cent to 3,822.48.