Markets ended lower on Wednesday, amid weak European cues, on profit taking after sharp gains in the previous two sessions which lifted the benchmark share indices to their record highs.
Meanwhile, the Nifty which had earlier hit its third successive record high of 7,922.70 today also failed to end above 7,900 mark for the second straight day.
The 30-share Sensex dropped 106 points to close at 26,314 and the 50-share Nifty shed 22 points to end at 7,875.
However, in the broader markets action was seen in select small-cap shares. The BSE Small-cap index ended up 0.9 % while the Mid-cap index ended flat with a positive bias.
In the previous two sessions, domestic institutions were net buyers to the tune of Rs 233 crore while foreign institutiona investors were net buyers to the tune of Rs 1,032 crore, as per provisional stock exchange data.
Market breadth ended positive with 1,687 gainers and 1,292 losers on the BSE.
Across the Globe:
Asian stocks ended firm on Wednesday after strong US housing data lifted Wall Street shares, helping nudge Treasury yields higher and keeping the dollar well bid against the euro and yen.
Global equities have attracted funds in recent sessions on expectations major central banks, including the US Federal Reserve will continue to retain their easy money policies for a while.
Tokyo's Nikkei gained 0.1% and MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat.
However, European markets were trading lower today with shares in France off the most.
The CAC 40 is down 0.44% while Germany's DAX is off 0.38% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.35%.
Back home, Foreign portfolio investors bought shares worth a net Rs 559.39 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
The Indian rupee was trading lower after the US dollar firmed up against other Asian currencies while the weakness in the domestic stock markets also weighed on sentiment.
The rupee was trading at Rs 60.73 compared to the previous close of Rs 60.67.
Sectors and Stocks:
On the sectoral front, BSE Healthcare index was the top gainer up 3% followed by Power, Realty and IT indices.
However, Auto, Capital goods, FMCG and Oil & Gas indices lost sheen on the BSE down between 0.5-1%. Bankex ended down 0.3%.
Auto shares which gained the most in the recent rally lost sheen on profit booking and ended mixed.
M&M, Maruti Suzuki, and Tata Motors closed down between 0.2-1.5%,
However, Hero Motocorp gained between 0.5%. Following a recovery in sales and a turnaround in the commercial vehicles (CVs) segment, equity fund managers have raised exposure to the stocks of automobile and auto ancillaries companies.
Banking space witnessed heavy selling with Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and SBI down between 0.5-1.3%. Further, ICICI Bank ended marginally in the negative territory.
Further, public banking stocks faced selling pressure after DNA, a Mumbai-based financial daily, reported Rs 436 crore scam.
Dena Bank lost 4.6% to Rs 60 and Oriental Bank of Commerce shed 3.6% to Rs 264.
Oil and Gas majors RIL and ONGC shed 1% and 2.8%, respectively.
FMCG stocks finished weak. HUL and ITC shed 0.85 and 1% each.
Bharti Airtel which gained during the early trades dropped 0.7% on profit taking.
HDFC, L&T, GAIL and Sesa Sterlite were some of the prominent names which ended down between 0.5-1% among others.
On the flip side, fresh buying was visible in the defensive space.
Shares of pharmaceutical companies were on a roll with most of the frontline stocks closing at multi-year highs on the bourses.
A strong operational performance during the recently concluded quarter and weaker rupee against the dollar fuelled the rally in pharma stocks.
Cipla, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Lupin, Cadila Healthcare, Aurobindo Pharma and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals from the frontline pharma stocks ended up in the range of 2-5%, quoting at their lifetime highs on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Wipro, India's third-biggest software services exporter climbed over 1%. The company is in tie-up talks with three startups. However, Infosys ended marginally in green.
Power stocks witnessed value buying during the late trades. Tata Power and NTPC surged 1.8% and 1% each.
Among other shares, Arvind Limited moved higher to 6.8% to end at Rs 251 after the textile firm announced its entry into the e-commerce space with the launch of a custom clothing brand, Creyate.
Lumax Industries zoomed 14% to end at Rs 435, extending its 17% rally in past three trading sessions on National Stock Exchange, after reporting robust earnings for the quarter ended June 2014 (Q1FY15).
FDC surged 11% to close at Rs 152 in otherwise subdued market after huge block deals executed on the counter on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Glenmark Pharma came off its day’s highs and ended marginally higher after the company said it has entered the oncology segment with the discovery and initiation of IND enabling studies of a novel clinical development candidate, GBR 1302, a HER2xCD3 bispecific antibody.