Markets ended lower as investors turned cautious and booked profit ahead of the expiry of June F&O series tomorrow even as auto stocks firmed up in late trades on reports that the lower excise duty on auto and capital goods has been extended till December.
The derivative contracts for June series will expire tomorrow.
The 30-share Sensex ended down 55 points at 25,314 and the 50-share Nifty ended down 11 points at 7,569.
The Indian rupee was trading lower at 60.10 compared with its previous close of 60.13, tracking the dollar's gains against other Asian currencies while the weakness in the domestic equity market also weighed on sentiment.
Asian shares ended lower amid lacklustre trades on Wednesday as the tensions in Iraq weighed on investor sentiment.
Shares in Japan witnessed profit taking and the benchmark Nikkei ended down 0.7 per cent.
Shanghai Composite ended down 0.4 per cent, Hang Seng slipped 0.06 per cent and Straits Times closed flat with negative bias.
European shares were also trading lower amid concerns over the ongoing crisis in Iraq with major indices such as CAC-40, DAX and FTSE down 0.4-0.7 per cent each.
BSE Healthcare index was the top gainer which ended up 0.8 per cent followed by Realty, Consumer Durables and Auto indices.
Further, Capital Goods, Oil and Gas and Bankex were the top losers.
ITC continued to witnessed profit taking and ended down 1.4 per cent on concerns that the excise duty on cigarettes would be hiked in the upcoming Budget.
Private banks, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank ended 0.6-1.3 per cent lower while in the oil and gas space, RIL and ONGC ended down 0.8-1.4 per cent each.
Engineering major L&T also ended down 1.2 per cent.
However, auto shares firmed up in late trades on reports that the lower excise duty on vehicles has been extended till December.
Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors and M&M ended up 0.3-2.6 per cent each.
Among other shares, Godrej Properties ended higher by 2.6 per cent at Rs 243 after huge block deal of around 1.7 million equity shares at Rs 241 a share on the BSE.
Zicom Electronic Security Systems gained 5.5 per cent to end at Rs 119, extending its previous day’s nearly 20 per cent rally, on back of heavy volumes on the bourses.
DLF ended down 1 per cent at Rs 217 on the back of fair trade regulator CCI ordering a fresh probe against the company.
Strides Arcolab ended 3 per cent higher at Rs 622 after the company announced that it has received ANDA approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for Imiquimod cream.
IRB Infrastructure Developers extended gains and rallied 6 per cent to end at Rs 229 after Rs 2,300 crore (Rs 23 billion) highway project from NHAI.
Indian Hotels Company has moved higher by 6 per cent to Rs 112, its highest level since May 2010 on BSE, after the company announced that it plans to raise up to Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) via rights issue.
The broader markets outperformed the benchmarks. The BSE Mid-cap and Small-cap indices ended up 0.3-0.5 per cent each.
Market breadth ended positive with 1,681 gainers and 1,350 losers on the BSE.