Mumbai: The Sensex today fell 42 points after an intra-day rally that took it past the 21,000 mark for the first time in almost three years fizzled out in the afternoon as IT stocks declined.
TCS, Reliance Industries, Wipro and Infosys were the biggest drag on the index. Coal India, Jindal Steel and BHEL were among the major losers as 19 shares on the Sensex
Among the sectoral indices, IT, power, realty and metal retreated.
The 30-share S&P BSE Sensex opened little changed and surged to 21,'.42, crossing the 21K mark after 35 months on buying in auto, banking, consumer durables and oil and gas sectors on the back of persistent foreign capital inflows.
The index then retreated and closed at 20,725.43, a drop of 42.45 points or 0.20 per cent. The Sensex was last above 21,000 on Nov 8, 2010.
"IT is in correction mode for short term but will ultimately outperform if one has view of more than 3-6 months," said Rakesh Tarway, AVP Research, Motilal Oswal Securities.
"There will be some buying in beaten down sectors of infra, banking. Apart from this, media will do well." The CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange moved down 14 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 6,164.35. The SX40 on the MCX Stock Exchange closed at 12,331.32, down 7.5 points.
Brokers said investors judged the rally was overdone. A section of the market booked profits after disappointing earnings led by Jet Airways and Ambuja Cements, they added.
Shares of PSU banks gained after the Ministry of Finance said after trading hours yesterday that the government has approved infusion of Rs 14,000 crore in 20 lenders.
Overseas investors pumped in a net Rs 644.80 crore in shares yesterday, according to preliminary data from the stock exchanges.
Most Asian markets ended higher after a measure of Chinese manufacturing hit a seven-month high. Key indices in South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan rose while indices in China and Hong Kong fell.
European markets were higher in early trade as indices in France, Germany and UK moved up.
In the domestic market, 10 Sensex shares gained while Sesa Sterlite was unchanged.
The major losers on the index were Wipro (-4.25 pc), Coal India (-3.25 pc), TCS (-2.52 pc), Jindal Steel (-1.85 pc) and BHEL (-1.68 pc).
The gainers included Mahindra & Mahindra, which rose 2.59 pc, followed by Larsen and Toubro 1.83 pc, GAIL India 1.49 pc, HDFC Bank 1.34 pc and Tata Motors 1.28 pc.
Among the sectoral indices S&P BSE IT dropped 1.77 pc, followed by S&P BSE Teck 1.53 pc, S&P BSE Power 1.14 pc and S&P BSE Realty 1.12 pc.
However, S&P BSE Capital Goods firmed up 1.15 pc, followed by S&P BSE Auto 0.61 pc and S&P BSE Consumer Durables 0.49 pc.
The market breadth remained negative as 1,298 shares ended with losses, 1,191 closed with gains and 184 ruled steady.
Total turnover at the BSE dropped to Rs 2,073.26 crore from Rs 2,227.47 crore yesterday.