Macroeconomic worries amid fiscal uncertainty continued to plague the market as consistent selling dragged the benchmark CNX-Nifty below the important 5,900 level at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday.
The 50-share Nifty fluctuated between a high of 5,924.15 and a low of 5,879.10 before ending at 5,897.85, a loss of 5.65 points, or 0.10%, over the last close.
Besides frontline heavyweights, FMCG, technology, infra and metal scrips, too, witnessed fair amount of selling, while financials, pharma and auto stocks attracted good buying interest, providing some respite from downtrend pressure.
Despite lacklustre global cues, trading commenced on a firm note due to firm buying in recently beaten down stocks. But the market soon gave away the gains and slipped into negative zone following profit-taking at higher levels.
Most markets in Asia were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
The market remained choppy throughout the session though it managed to regain some lost ground towards the end. Extending its losses, the benchmark index slipped to nearly six-week low on the back of worries over economic growth.
Moreover, the Reserve Bank Governor today cautioned the country was headed for the highest ever current account deficit in FY13, after the trade gap rose to 5.3 per cent of GDP in the second quarter, adding to nervousness on bourses.
Uncertainty dominated trading sentiment as investors were cautious ahead of tomorrow's industrial production data and inflation number later this week after an unexpected drop in the GDP estimates for the current fiscal, traders said.
Retail investors were waiting for more reforms from the Government in the upcoming Budget, they added.
ACC, Jindal Steel, IDFC, Maruti, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, HCL-Tech, L&T, HDFC and BHEL were among the top losers from the Nifty bunch. The notable gainers included Cipla, Axis Bank, Hindalco, Tata Motors, Dr Reddys, UltraTech, Reliance Infra, HUL, Power Grid and Sesa Goa.
Turnover in cash segment fell sharply to Rs 9,461.48 crore from Rs 12,477.37 crore last Friday. A total of 5,145.71 lakh shares changed hands in 49,17,475 trades. The market capitalisation stood at Rs 66,69,422 crore.