Equity benchmarks retreated from lifetime highs Thursday as investors took money off the table ahead of an extended weekend, while the grounding of Jet Airways stoked fears among banks and other lenders.
After rallying to an intra-day record of 39,487.45 points, the 30-share BSE Sensex turned negative to settle 135.36 points, or 0.34 per cent, lower at 39,140.28. The broader NSE Nifty slipped 34.35 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 11,752.80 after setting an intra-day record of 11,856.
The benchmark indices had closed at record highs on Tuesday on earnings optimism and forecast of a near-normal monsoon.
Markets will be closed Friday on account of 'Good Friday'.
During the holiday-truncated week, the Sensex rose 373.17 points, or 0.96 per cent, while the Nifty gained 109.35 points, or 0.93 per cent.
Global markets remained subdued ahead of the Easter weekend as participants booked profits.
"After a period of significant momentum ahead of the general elections, the market may take a pause in some kind of an interim profit-booking," said Joseph Thomas - Head Research, Emkay Wealth Management.
"The accelerating scenario of a slowdown in global growth as also the definitive prospects of higher fuel prices and a weaker currency may also be working on the minds of the market participants at this juncture,” he added.
Shares of Jet Airways continued to fall for the second day in a row, plummeting over 32 per cent on Thursday, a day after the ailing airline shuttered its operations temporarily.
"The hunt for new bidders/suitors is getting tough. This event led to cascading negative effect on lenders to Jet and other banks," said Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities.
Top losers in the Sensex pack included Yes Bank, Vedanta, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, L&T, SBI, NTPC, Kotak Bank, HDFC, PowerGrid, Infosys and ITC, falling up to 4.18 per cent.
On the other hand, RIL was the biggest gainer on the index, spurting 2.79 per cent ahead of its Q4 results.
Tata Motors, Asian Paints, TCS, Coal India, Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank and HUL also ended in the green, rising up to 2.32 per cent.
Apart from energy and oil and gas, all BSE sectoral indices closed in the red, led by realty, power, metal, telecom, capital goods and banking, shedding up to 2.33 per cent.
The broader markets fell in tandem with the benchmarks. The BSE smallcap index lost 0.99 per cent, while the midcap gauge tripped 0.89 per cent.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased equity worth a net Rs 1,038.58 crore on Tuesday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares to the tune of Rs 37.22 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Japan, China and Korea ended in the red.
In Europe, bourses in Germany, France and the UK were trading on a mixed note in early deals.
Global crude oil benchmark Brent futures fell 0.17 per cent to USD 71.50 per barrel.
Meanwhile, the Indian rupee appreciated 5 paise to 69.55 against the US dollar intra-day.