Mumbai, May 29: Snapping a three-day winning run, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed around 13 points lower as cautious investors booked profits in recent outperformers in financial, IT, and metal space ahead of monthly settlement in the derivative segment.
The 30-share index resumed better tracking overnight cues in US markets and immediately touched a high of 20,216.49. However, it later fell back and remained in negative terrain for most of the session to touch a low of 20,044.74. Sensex recovered some ground to settle at 20,147.64, still showing a fall of 13.18 points or 0.07 per cent.
In the three-day upmove, the blue-chip index had spurted by 486.49 points or 2.47 per cent.
Fall in ICICI Bank, HDFC, SBI, TCS, Infosys, Tata Steel, Sterlite Ind, Jindal Steel, M&M and Maruti mainly weighed on the market today.
Sun Pharma was the star performer in Sensex with a rise of over 7 per cent on robust earnings. Tata Motors, ITC and RIL also rose restricting any major fall in the Sensex.
Traders said investors also appeared to be avoiding taking fresh positions ahead of Friday's fourth quarter GDP data release while a weak rupee, which touched a 10-month low today, was fanning fears that inflation will rise soon.
Similarly, wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty eased by 6.95 points, or 0.11 per cent to 6,104.30.
"Tomorrow is Futures and Options (F&O) expiry day and volatility is likely to be seen within 6050-6150 levels. Nifty has shown good recovery from lower levels...," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio Limited.
However, MCX-SX flagship index, SX40 today closed 0.9 points, or 0.01 per cent, higher at 11,948.17.
Metal stocks suffered a setback after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its growth forecast for China indicating a weak world economy and exports, analysts said.
Shares from realty, banking, power and IT were also suffered losses while from pharma and consumer durable attracted good buying interest.
Globally, Asian stocks ended mixed with upward bias. Key indices from Hong Kong and Singapore closed down while from China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan finished higher.
However, European markets were quoting remarkably lower in their early trade as robust US economic data heightened speculation that the Federal Reserve may soon begin tapering back its bond-buying programme. CAC (France) was down by 1.01 per cent, DAX (Germany) by 0.89 per cent and FTSE (UK) by 1.09 per cent.
Turning back to local market, 17 out of 30 Sensex scrips closed with losses while 12 settled with gains. Hindalco finished unchanged.
Major losers from the Sensex pack were Sterlite Ind. (2.53 pc), Tata Steel (2.27 pc), Jindal Steel (1.98 pc), Gail India (1.50 pc), ICICI Bank (1.38 pc), M&M (1.30 pc), Maruti Suzuki (1.27 pc), HDFC (1.18 pc), SBI (1.17 pc), TCS (1.15 pc), Tata Power (1.04 pc) and Infosys (0.67 pc).
Gainers included Tata Motors (2.69 pc), Hero MotoCorp (2.39 pc), Coal India (1.30 pc), Cipla (1.26 pc), ITC (0.69 pc) and RIL (0.49 pc).
Among the sectoral indices, S&P BSE-Realty dipped by 2.50 per cent, followed by S&P BSE-Metal (1.13 pc), S&P BSE-Bankex (0.82 pc) and S&P BSE-Power (0.77 pc).
However, S&P BSE-HC rose by 1.82 per cent and S&P BSE-CD inched up by 0.82 per cent.
Total market breadth turned negative as 1,342 stocks closed with losses while 1,025 that finished with gains. The total turnover declined further to Rs 1,800.25 crore from Rs 1,829.04 crore yesterday.
Meanwhile, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 711.12 crore yesterday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.