Indian stocks markets ended lower on Thursday on the back of profit booking, amid weak Asian and European cues, after three straight day of gains.
The BSE benchmark index-Sensex closed at 18,154 down 48 points and the 50-share Nifty shed 10 points to end at 5,522 levels.
In Asia, the markets ended the day in the red. Nikkei ended lower by 22 points at 9,238 levels.
Hang Seng shed 88 points to 21,277.
Shanghai and Taiwan also shed 0.4% and 1.7% each respectively by the close.
The European markets were also trading lower. The Germany's DAX was at 6,687, down 1%, CAC was down 0.7% at 3,365 levels and FTSE shed 0.6% to 5,857 levels.
Back home, metal, oil & gas and consumer durables stocks were amongst the worst hit in trades today.
The BSE Metal index ended lower by 1.6% or 208 points at 12,586 levels.
Coal India was the top loser among the metal stocks, down 5.4% to Rs 321.
Hindalco, Sterlite Industries, Tata Steel, Bhushan Steel and SAIL were also among the laggards from this sector.
Led by the losses in the index heavyweight Reliance Industries, the BSE Oil & Gas index ended lower by 1.5% or 134 points to shut shop at 8,613 levels.
Shares of Reliance Industries (RIL) dipped nearly 3% to Rs 812, extending its yesterday's 1.4% fall, on reports that the company anticipated a further fall to 22.6 million standard cubic metres a day (mscmd), an all-time low, in 2013-14 from the current 35 mscmd. Gail India, Gujarat State Petronet, indian Oil and Petronet LNG were also among the losers from this sector.
The consumer durable stocks also faced the selling pressure in trades today.
VIP Industries, C Mahendra Exports, Bajaj Electricals, TTK Prestige, Titan Industries, Rajesh Exports and Videocon were the top losers from this space.
The index shed nearly 1% to close at 6,379 levels.
At the same time, realty stocks witnessed buying consecutively for the second trading session.
The BSE realty index ws the top sectoral gainer, up 1.5% to 2,062 levels. DB Realty was the top gainer, up 15% to Rs 95. HDIL, Prestige Estates, Anant Raj Industries and Phoenix Mills also ended higher.
Power stocks gained for the second straight session after the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday directed Coal India Ltd to import coal to ensure supplies for 20 years to 50,000-mw power plants that are proposed to be commissioned by March 2015. The BSE Power index ended higher by 1.4% at 2,296 levels.
Lanco Infra, PTC India, Adani Power, Thermax and Crompton Greaves were among the top gainers.
Among the Sensex stocks, Tata Motors slipped 3.7% to Rs 276 after yesterday's strong gains.
Sun Pharma, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC Bank, TCS, ICICI Bank and HUL also ended lower in trades today.
However, SBI was among the top gainer in trades today, up 4.4% to Rs 2,188 near its its highest level since July 27, 2011 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The India's largest lender has convened an extraordinary general meeting of its shareholders and executives on March 19 with the single-point agenda of approving preferential allotment of shares to the government.
Among the individual stocks, Financial Technologies ended higher by 5% at Rs 862 ahead of the Multi Commodity Exchange Ltd (MCX), India's biggest commodity exchange by turnover, initial public offer (IPO) which opens on February 22. Financial Technologies currently holds 31.18% stake in MCX aims to reduce this to 25% post the IPO.
Sasken Communication Technologies rallied 13% to Rs 139 after the board of directors approved the share buyback at a maximum price of Rs 180 per share, subject to shareholders and all other applicable statutory approvals.
The broader markets outperformed their benchmark counterparts.
The BSE mid-cap index jumped 1% or 67 points to close at 6,548 levels and the small-cap index jumped 67 points to close at 7,132 levels.
The overall breadth was positive as 1,640 stocks advanced while 1,292 shares declined.