The BSE Sensex erased its initial gains on Wednesday, once again succumbing to profit-taking and falling by nearly 80 points, to end at over one-week low level on selling in consumer durables, banking and metal counters.
After reclaiming the 21,000-mark in opening trade, the bluechip index hit an intra-day high of 21,004.54 but failed to sustain the momentum as investors started booking profits.
Persistent foreign capital inflows as well as confidence given by the Finance Minister P Chidambaram that the country's current account deficit (CAD) will be contained below $60 billion in current financial year helped markets rise in early trade.
However, the Sensex declined afterwards to 20,861.42 before finishing at 20,894.94, showing a loss of 79.85 points or 0.38 per cent from its Tuesday close.
This is the lowest close since 20,570.28 on October 28. On Sunday, the Sensex hit record intra-day high of 21,321.53 and ended at all-time closing high of 21,239.36.
Similarly, the NSE 50-share Nifty dropped by 38.00 points, or 0.61 per cent, to end at 6,215.15. Also, the SX40 index of MCX-SX, closed at 12,416.31, down 77.79 points.
However, mid-cap and small-cap shares fared better as retail investors were seen buying these scrips, traders said.
"All major events like Q2 results and RBI monetary policy are almost over and so there is lack of concrete trigger to fuel the rally further. Hence, we can expect some consolidation," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.
After consumer durables, banking stocks suffered the most, led by heavyweight SBI that tumbled by 3.40 per cent following its decision to hike lending rates by 0.20 per cent. Other lenders like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank also fell.
Other major Sensex constituents that ended in the red on Wednesday included RIL, HUL, Bharti, Tata Motors and Tata Steel.
However, IT shares like TCS and Infosys firmed up on account of stronger than expected results from Cognizant and a weak rupee that fell below 62-level against the US dollar.
With inputs from PTI