Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex fell for the first time in three days and dropped 29 points after a volatile session today as most Asian stocks declined before the release of US jobs data, which may indicate when the Federal Reserve will start tapering its stimulus programme.
Heavyweights ITC, Reliance Industries and HDFC dragged the index lower as 15 of the 30 Sensex shares ended with losses.
Consumer durables, auto and oil & gas were among five of the 13 sectoral indices on the BSE that fell, while power and capital goods stocks advanced.
The S&P BSE Sensex, which opened lower, traded in a 139-point range during the day. It ended at 20,864.97, down 28.92 points or 0.14 per cent. The index gained 478.38 points in the previous two sessions, climbing to the highest level since November 2010.
The CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange moved down 2.15 points to 6,202.80.
“Nifty opened on a negative note and traded in a narrow range of 6,180-6,220 throughout the trading day. Despite the volatility, positive bias was seen with market breadth showing strength,” said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President at Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.
The SX-40 index on the MCX Stock Exchange closed at 12,403.16, up 4.3 points. Key indices in South Korea, Singpaore and Japan ended higher, while indices in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China fell. European markets traded mixed as indices in France and Germany were lower, while UK's FTSE was higher.
In the domestic market, 14 Sensex shares ended higher. Tata Motors ruled steady.
The major losers on the index were Hindalco (-1.56 pc), Hero MotoCorp (-1.37 pc), HDFC (-1.29 pc), M&M (-1.23 pc) and Reliance Industries (-1.07 pc).
The gainers included Tata Power (2.63 pc), Coal India (1.82 pc), GAIL India (1.77 pc), Wipro (1.67 pc) and Tata Steel (1.18 pc).
Among the sectoral indices, S&P BSE Consumer Durables declined 0.87 pc, followed by S&P BSE Auto 0.56 pc, S&P BSE Oil & Gas 0.28 pc and S&P BSE Realty 0.22 per cent.
However, S&P BSE Power rose 1.74 pc, followed by S&P BSE Capital Goods 1.1 pc, S&P BSE PSU 0.73 pc and S&P BSE IT 0.5 pc.
Foreign institutional investors bought shares worth a net Rs 1,031.79 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
The market breadth remained positive as 1,498 shares ended with gains, 1,029 closed with losses and 146 ruled steady.
Total turnover at the BSE rose to Rs 2,161.85 crore from Rs 2,011.92 crore yesterday.