Profit booking, along with outflow of foreign funds and caution ahead of upcoming quarterly results subdued the Indian equity markets on Wednesday.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 18.80 points or 0.22 per cent to 8,659.10 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 28,112.36 points, closed at 27,984.37 points -- down 66.51 points or 0.24 per cent from the previous close at 28,050.88 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 28,131.07 points and a low of 27,926.17 points during the intra-day trade.
In contrast, the BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,636 advances and 1,168 declines.
On Tuesday, the equity markets made substantial gains on the back of bargain hunting, positive global indices and fresh inflow of foreign funds.
The barometer index had gained 520.91 points or 1.89 per cent to 28,050.88 points, while the NSE Nifty edged higher by 157.50 points or 1.85 per cent to 8,677.90 points.
Initially on Wednesday, the benchmark indices opened on a higher note due to buying support.
In addition, investors' sentiments were buoyed by hopes that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will come to a quick consensus over the GST rates.
However, gains were ceded soon after on the back of profit booking and caution over the upcoming release of more quarterly results.
Besides, outflow of foreign funds and global volatility ahead of Thursday's ECB's (European Central Bank) meet dented the equity markets.
Nevertheless, higher crude oil prices, appreciation in rupee and value buying at lower levels arrested the fall.
The Indian rupee strengthened by five paise to 66.67-68 against a US dollar from its previous close of 66.72-73 to a greenback.
"Profit booking after yesterday's steep rise and absence of any furthers cue especially ahead of ECB policy meet tomorrow dragged the key indices lower," Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.
"However, value buying at lower levels have mitigated the impact of fall."
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls: "IT, banking and pharma stocks traded with sideways to firm sentiments. Auto stocks witnessed selling pressure and failed to recover from lower levels."
"Oil-gas, textile and aviation stocks traded with firm sentiments on buying support."
Desai added that sideways trend in "USD/INR" futures' prices supported the recovery in Nifty.
In terms of investments, provisional data with the stock exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 282.77 crore, whereas the DIIs invested Rs 724.64 crore.
Sector-wise, S&P BSE automobile index, receded by 120.68 points, the banking index declined by 115.87 points and the FMCG index fell by 93.56 points.
The S&P BSE oil and gas index augmented by 90.50 points, the healthcare index edged higher by 82.90 points and the IT index gained by 23.60 points.
Major Sensex gainers during Wednesday's trade were: Wipro, up 2.74 per cent at Rs 494.55; Lupin, up 2.04 per cent at Rs 1,512.05; Adani Ports, up 1.74 per cent at Rs 271.35; Gail, up 1.48 per cent at Rs 435.80; and Power Grid, up 0.96 per cent at Rs 178.05.
Major Sensex losers were: ITC, down 2.44 per cent at Rs 239.80; ICICI Bank, down 2.00 per cent at Rs 265; Hero MotoCorp, down 1.28 per cent at Rs 3,367; Hindustan Unilever, down 1.00 per cent at Rs 846; and State Bank of India (SBI), down 0.82 per cent at Rs 254.80.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)