Mumbai, Apr 26: In a lacklustre trade, the BSE benchmark Sensex ended lower by 21 points with power, realty and auto counters coming under selling pressure as investors were cautious notwithstanding positive global cues.
The 30-share Sensex hovered in a short range of 17,193.25 and 17,084.05. It ended the day at 17,130.67, a loss of 20.62 points or 0.12 per cent from its previous close.
“Today, being April derivative expiry day, sentiments remained cautious from the onset of trading session. Gains were short lived as market slipped into red during the afternoon trades,” said Shanu Goel, Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
State-run gas utility GAIL (India), the biggest loser among Sensex stocks, ended lower by 3.62 per cent. The company had suspended cargo operations at its third liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Dabhol.
The BSE Power index was the biggest loser among sectoral indices, ending nearly 1.5 per cent down over its previous close.
Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp and Tata Motors lost in the range of 1-3.6 per cent, bringing the BSE Auto index by 89 points or 0.84 per cent.
DLF (down 2.23 per cent) and HDFC Bank (down 1.16 per cent) were also among major Sensex losers.
“We expect the markets to remain range bound waiting for a trigger to make an upside move. Market participants would be closely watching the US weekly jobless claims,” said Sharmila Joshi, Head - Equity, Fairwealth Securities.
Brokers said investor sentiments were subdued after Standard & Poor's yesterday revised the rating outlooks on the country's sovereign credit rating as well as over 20 state-run and private entities.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also moved down by 13.00 points or 0.25 per cent to finish at 5,189.00.
Asian shares ended higher in volatile trade after the Federal Reserve reassured markets that it will keep its very accommodative stance to support US economic growth, and as optimism grew over strong corporate earnings after Apple Inc's robust results.
Key benchmark indices in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea rose by between 0.01 per cent to 0.79 per cent while indices in China and Taiwan fell by 0.09 per cent and 0.55 per cent respectively.
European stocks were mixed their early trade as indices in France (CAC) and Germany (DAX) eased by 0.48 per cent to 0.62 per cent while London (FTSE) moved up by 0.21 per cent.
Major losers from the Sensex pack were Hero MotoCorp (3.16 pc), Hindalco (2.96 pc), Bajaj Auto (2.94 pc), Tata Power (2.74 pc), Sterlite Industries (2.27 pc), DLF (2.23 pc), NTPC (2.22 pc), Wipro (1.56 pc), Bharti Airtel (1.32 pc), HDFC Bank (1.16 pc) and Hindustan Unilever (1.01 pc).
However, Coal India firmed up by 2.79 per cent followed by Jindal Steel (2.04 pc), TCS (1.68 pc), Reliance Industries (1.24 pc) and ITC (1.38 pc).
Like yesterday, the overall market breadth continued to show negative trend as 1,319 shares finished with losses while 1,107 shares ended with gains.
The total turnover improved to Rs 2,401.97 crore from the yesterday's closing level of Rs 2,076.55 crore.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 340.84 crore yesterday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges. FIIs have sold shares worth Rs 1,609.10 crore in the last three days.