Mumbai: Shares fell 1.18% to a three-month closing low on Tuesday, led down by Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank as the market could not sustain early gains with investors reluctant to commit funds.
Energy giant Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight on the main index, shed 1.9%. The stock had gained 2% over the previous three sessions.
Leading private sector bank ICICI Bank fell 1.9%, after having risen 5.6% in the two previous sessions. HDFC Bank dropped 1.3%, after rising 2% over the three previous sessions.
The BSE 30-share index Sensex fell 192.59 points to finish at 16,163.44, its lowest close since 6 November, with only four components managing to gain on the day. The index had risen 1% in early deals.
“Positive global cues pushed our market higher in the morning. At higher levels, funds used it as an opportunity to exit,” said Gajendra Nagpal, CEO of Unicon Financial.
“There was no follow-up buying to support. I think people prefer to stay on the sidelines rather than getting into the market,” added Nagpal.
The benchmark index, which surged 81% in 2009, has now fallen in eight of the past 10 sessions to be down 8.4% since its close on 18 January.
In the last 10 trading days of January, foreign investors were net sellers of more than $1.8 billion of stocks, the most recent data shows.
Top power producer NTPC shed 2.5% to Rs206.05 after the state-run company set a floor price of Rs201 a share for its follow-on public offer, which would raise at least Rs8,290 crore ($1.8 billion).
Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries ended down 2.2%, surrendering earlier gains of as much as 4.1% in early trade as copper prices reversed gains.
Auto stocks also fell, unwinding some of the gains made on on Monday on strong sales figures.
Tata Motors dropped 1.5% after it had risen 3.6% in the previous session, while Mahindra and Mahindra shed 2.6%, after rising 2.7% on Monday.
In the broader market, losers led gainers in the ratio of 1.6:1 in a volume of 425 million shares, slightly higher than last week’s daily average of 411 million shares.
The NSE 50-share index Nifty fell 1.42% to 4,830.10, its lowest close since 6 November.