The Sensex fell for a third day on Thursday losing over 21 points on selling by funds particularly in IT and oil and gas stocks even as food inflation declined.
The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange index fell 21.02 points to 19,591.18 points. The market had gained over nine per cent in March. The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell below the crucial 5,900-level losing 6.05 points to close at 5,885.70 points.
The markets, which remained weak at the outset, tended to look up and reduced the losses after easing food inflation and crude oil prices in global markets.
Lenders gained as easing inflation faded fears of the Reserve Bank of India hiking interest rates in its meeting next month. The central bank increased the benchmark re-purchase rate by a quarter-point to 6.75 per cent on March 17 and raised outlook estimates.
The most-heaviest on the Sensex, Reliance Industries, fell Rs 3.70 to Rs 1,040.15 and second-heaviest Infosys Technologies Rs 23.15 to Rs 3,247.45. The two carry nearly 23 per cent weightage.
Tata Consultancy Services, the largest exporter of software services fell Rs 24.45 to Rs 1,199.40, leading its peers, after the Indian rupee reached the highest level in almost five months, denting revenue of the companies.
The Indian software exporting companies get over 45 per cent business from the US and European markets.
The IT, Oil and Gas, tech, PSU, Consumer Durables, FMCG and auto sector index declined, while realty, capital goods, healthcare, bank and metal sector rose and saved the market from any major fall.