In the broader market, the BSE Midcap index bucked the trend to gain 0.3%
Snapping four-session long gaining spree, the market on Monday settled lower as sentiment remained cautious ahead of the Union Budget 2017, while a steep surge in stocks of Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular provided some succour to the frontline indices.
The S&P BSE Sensex settled the day at 27,849, down 33 points, while the broader Nifty50 quoted 8,632, down 8 points at close.
In the broader market, the BSE Midcap index bucked the trend to gain 0.3%, while the BSE Smallcap shed 0.3%.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On BSE, 1,571 shares fell and 1,166 shares rose. A total of 229 shares were unchanged.
"It's a normal pause on expected lines in the index; however, there's no shortage of trading opportunities on stock-specific front. And, we feel it might continue tomorrow as well but with a positive tone. Investors should use dips to add quality stocks from auto, private banks and select NBFCs space. At the same time, limiting leveraged positions and keeping them hedged before the Budget 2017 is a good idea," said Jayant Manglik, President, Retail Distribution, Religare Securities.
Sectors and stocks
Telecom stocks hogged limelight with telecom index soaring 9.5% at intra-day to end 5.9% higher after British telecom giant, Vodafone Plc today confirmed that it is in discussions with the Aditya Birla group about an all-stock merger of Vodafone India (excluding Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers) and Idea Cellular.
Idea Cellular gained 29% to Rs 100 in intra-day trade. The stock ended 26% higher at Rs 98.45. Bharti Airtel added 7% to Rs 347.
Bharat Electronics hit a new high of Rs 1,624, up 5.5% in intra-day trade after the company reported 33% year on year (YoY) jump in its net profit at Rs 373 crore for the quarter ended December 2016 (Q3FY17), on back of strong operational income.
Among losers, Tata Motors declined 2% to Rs 533 following news reports that the company intends to reshuffle the roles of its top executives as part of a restructuring exercise.
Shares of IT companies rebounded after falling up to 4% after US President Donald Trump introduced immigration curbs adding to fears that his 'America First' policy may prove detrimental for Indian software services firms.
Among largecap IT stocks, Wipro tanked nearly 2% to Rs 457, HCL Tech was down 2% to Rs 829, while Infosys and TCS slipped over 1% each to Rs 930 and Rs 2322, respectively in intraday trade.
While, Infosys pared all its losses to end 0.5% higher at Rs 947, TCS (down 1% to Rs 2337) and Wipro (down 0.3% to Rs 465) settled lower.
Investors also booked profits in recent outperformers: the BSE Bankex, which led gains last week, fell 0.8%, dragged down by Federal Bank, SBI and Indusing Bank. The index had gained 4.8% last week.
Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters