Snapping a four-day rally, the BSE benchmark Sensex today fell over 34 points from its 19-month high to close at 19,305.32 as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of the key vote on FDI in Parliament and mixed trends from global stock markets.
After gaining over 833 points last week, Sensex's biggest weekly gains since last week of November 2011, traders said investors booked profits ahead of the voting on FDI issue.
HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel, Gail and ONGC were among the top losers in Sensex today while
Bhel, SBI, Tata Steel and RIL helped cushion the fall.
Market participants also appeared to ignore Morgan Stanley raising India's growth forecast for FY'13 to 5.4 per cent from 5.1 per cent projected earlier.
Selling was seen in front-line stocks while second-line stocks attracted good buying support.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer initially showed some strength but turned negative soon after. It moved in a narrow range, mostly in negative terrain, to settle at 19,305.32, a fall of 34.58 points or 0.18 per cent.
The broader 50-issue S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE also eased by 8.90 points, or 0.15 per cent, to close at 5,870.95.
Stock markets also did not seem enthused by reports that HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index
(PMI) - a measure of factory production - registered the fastest pace in five months and stood at 53.7 in November.
Lack of a clear direction from global stocks also did not help domestic market sentiment as Asian stocks ended mixed while European indices were trading higher in afternoon deals.
Asian stocks ended on a mixed note today after reports said China's manufacturing sector expanded in November. Key indices from China, Hong Kong and Singapore ended lower, while those from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan ended higher.
European markets, however, exhibited a firm trend in the afternoon deals. France's CAC was up by 0.53 per cent, the DAX by 0.44 per cent and the FTSE by 0.24 per cent.
Turning to the local market, 17 scrips out of the Sensex pack ended with losses while 13 scrips closed with gains.
Major losers from the Sensex were HDFC Bank (2.37 pc), Bharti Airtel (1.76 pc), Gail India (1.06 pc), ONGC (0.89 pc), NTPC (0.89 pc), Tata Motors (0.80 pc) and ITC (0.70 pc).
On the other hand, BHEL firmed up by 1.59 per cent, SBI by 1.53 per cent, Tata Steel by 1.36 per cent, RIL by 1.23 per cent, M&M by 1.15 per cent, Hindalco by 1.07 per cent and Maruti Suzuki by 1.07 per cent.
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Bankex eased by 0.40 per cent, followed by the BSE-FMCG (0.34 pc) and the BSE-Teck (0.14 pc) while the
BSE-Realty rose by 1.35 per cent, the BSE-Metal by 0.80 per cent, the BSE-Power by 0.65 per cent and the
BSE-Consumer Durable by 0.55 per cent.
Total market breadth continued to remain positive as 1,672 stocks finished with gains while 1,255 settled with losses. Total turnover dropped to Rs 2,965.40 crore from Rs 3,341.97 crore yesterday.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1,611.43 crores on November 30, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.