Key indices on Monday extended their losses to the second straight day, ending lower in choppy trade marked by negative FII activity.
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) benchmark Sensex ended down by 62.87 points or 0.51 per cent at 12,173.91 from Friday's close of 12,236.78, after touching the intra-day high of 12.273.71 in range-bound but volatile trading throughout.
Similarly, the National Stock Exchange's (NSE) S&P CNX Nifty dropped by 20.60 points or 0.58 per cent to 3,523.45 against previous close of 3,544.05.
The heavyweight RIL attracted brisk activity and closed remarkably higher, mitigating the downslide. RIL's rally was mainly credited to news of fresh gas discovery at the Krishna Godavari exploration area off India's east coast.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were believed to be sellers at higher levels during the session. FIIs reported net sales of Rs 1,194 crore in the derivatives segment on September 22 while pulling out Rs 120 crore from cash, as per provisional numbers.
The market breadth was negative with 1,510 losers against 1,001 gainers of the total 2,582 traded shares.
Today's fall was seen as a necessary correction to the stretched market valuations, brokers said, adding, "Investors were eagerly awaiting a sharp downward correction for the market's sound health."
Key stocks like Grasim, ACC, L&T, HDFC, ONGC, HLL, Satyam Computers, SBI, TCS Ltd, ITC, Maruti Udyog and NTPC registered sharp losses.
The trading volume was low but relatively higher at Rs 3,512.98 crore compared to Rs 3,140.24 crore on Friday. Atlanta Ltd clocked the highest turnover of Rs 221.79 crore followed by RIL (Rs 207.14 crore), Tulip IT (Rs 150 29.66 points to 6,177.97 from last weekend's close of 6,207.63.
The BSE-200 Index and the Dollex-200 were quoted lower at 1,457.82 and 528.46 at close compared to previous close of 1,464.06 and 530.52 respectively. The BSE-500 Index eased by 18.09 points to 4,619.85 from last close of 4,637.94 and the the Dollex-30 ended modestly down at 2,176.20 from 2,186.61.
Infosys Tech fell by 12.85 to 1817.25, Satyam Computer by 10 to 827.75, Grasim by 49.55 to 2469.20, Bajaj Auto by 52.25 to 2866.50, Dr Reddy's Lab by 11.05 to 737.70, ITC by 3.40 to 184.30, Maruti Udyog by 10.75 to 926.40, ONGC by 16.90 to 1167.55, Reliance Comm by 5.55 to 341.60, SBI by 4.15 to 971.20, Wipro by 5.20 to 514.35, ACC by 14.65 to 965.55, HDFC by 15.40 to 1391.35, HLL by 4.50 to 252.75, L&T by 46.50 to 2610.75, NTPC by 2.35 to 126.75, REL by 2.55 to 460.05 and TCS Ltd by 17.25 to 1025.20.
However, RIL firmed up by 8.45 to 1163.65, Tata Steel by 11.00 to 507.70, BHEL by 13.40 to 2325.70, HDFC Bank by 3.20 to 878.50, ICICI Bank by 5.10 to 660.15, Hero Honda by 6.30 to 772.25, Bharti Airtel by 4.80 to 474.05 and Tata Motors by 10.95 to 846.40.