Pressured by banking and pharma stocks, the market stayed in a state of weakness for the second consecutive day today, coming on the heels of last week's stellar rally.
Data showing that domestic investors were net sellers yesterday proved to be a dampener.
The market, according to traders, is in a phase of consolidation after scaling record highs following BJP's mammoth win in UP and Uttarakhand and formation of its governments in Goa and Manipur.
After hitting the day's high of 29,585.05, the 30-share Sensex closed at 29,485.45, down 33.29 points, or 0.11 per cent. The gauge had fallen 130.25 points in the previous session.
The NSE Nifty slipped below the 9,100-mark before ending down 5.35 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 9,121.50.
"While FDA observations kept pharma space depressed, banking stocks were also under pressure from potential farm loan waivers," said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.
But the rupee's rising clout against the dollar on robust capital inflows restricted the losses.
Divi's Laboratories today slumped 19.77 per cent to a 52-week low of Rs 634.35 after the company said the US health regulator has issued an import alert on the products manufactured at one of its units in Visakhapatnam.
Idea Cellular tumbled 4.76 per cent, falling for the second session in a row, after announcement of its merger with Vodafone India to create the country's largest mobile phone operator.
Avenue Supermarts, the owner of D-Mart, made a stellar debut on the bourses today by surging 114.30 per cent.
Healthcare dropped 1.44 per cent followed by bank, auto, PSU and oil and gas. However, realty rose by 1.35 per cent and FMCG 1.01 per cent.
While foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 56.67 crore yesterday, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 536.21 crore, as per provisional data.
Drug major Dr Reddy's topped the loser's list by slumping 4.36 per cent while Axis Bank shed 3.28 per cent. Other major losers were GAIL, Maruti Suzuki, RIL, Sun Pharma and ICICI Bank.
The broader markets fell after investors locked in gains, pulling down both mid cap and small cap indices.
Major Asian indices ended on a mixed note. Europe displayed a similar trend.
"Nifty found value buying towards close, though limited, and with few domestic triggers before Q4 numbers, markets should keep its ear on global cues, especially with Brexit being triggered on March 29," added James.
In the domestic market, 17 scrips out of the 30-share
Sensex pack ended lower while 13 rose.
The market breadth remained negative as 1,692 stocks ended lower 1,089 higher while 193 ruled steady.
The total turnover fell to Rs 5,206.02 crore, from Rs 56,820.64 crore yesterday.