Retreating from one-week high levels, the benchmark Sensex on Monday slid over 42 points to decline for the first time in five days on losses in TCS, HDFC and Bharti Airtel shares as investors booked profits.
The index, which rose over 167 points in previous four sessions, started the day on a positive note but failed to hold onto gains. Selling in IT, banking and metal weighed.
The BSE Sensex ended at 20,334.27, down 42.29 points or 0.21%. Intra-day, it touched a high of 20,434.50 and a low of 20,312.21. Overall, 16 constituents of 30-share Sensex fell while 14 like RIL, L&T and ITC rose.
The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 9.75 points, or 0.16%, to end at 6,053.45 after moving between 6,083.05 and 6,046.40 during the day.
Traders said telecom stocks, including Bharti that shed 2.57%, faced selling after fears of excessive competition came to the fore as the ongoing spectrum auction entered the 43rd round of bidding on seventh day on Monday.
Among IT stocks, TCS fell 2.32% but Infosys and Wipro bucked the trend.
Banking counters, including SBI, declined as the two-day nationwide strike by public sector bank staff began, traders added. Uneasiness over macroeconomic signals after advance growth estimates also kept the market volatile.
The falling trend was cushioned to some extent as realty and oil & gas sector shares rose on valued buying. Midcap and smallcap indices closed in the green, indicating some retail investor interest.
In buzzing large-cap stocks, DLF shot up by the most in two months by surging 2.94 per cent after announcing the sale of its luxury hospitality chain Amanresorts for USD 358 million. Sun Pharma climbed to a three-month high and Tata Motors gained ahead of its earnings.
Sectorally, the BSE Teck sector index suffered the most by losing 0.84%, followed by Banking index (down 0.53%), Metal index (0.51%) and IT index (0.42%). On the other hand, six out 12 indices gained.