Mumbai: Amidst lack of direction from overseas markets, Sensex on Monday closed at 17.92 points lower at 19584.31 and the Nifty ended the day at 5874.50, down by 10.20 points, despite sustained capital inflows, as top heavyweight Reliance Industries fell on below-expected earnings.

Petrochem giant RIL was the top loser from the Sensex pack, falling 2.97 per cent, on lower-than-expected fourth quarter (FY'11) results announced by the company on Thursday
-- after markets closed for the week.

As a result, the sectoral BSE-Oil & Gas index dipped 180.16 points or 1.75 per cent.

The company had posted 14 per cent growth in the net profit for the fourth quarter of 2010-11, as natural gas production from its mainstay field declined.

However, rise in index-scrips like Sterlite Ind(4.40 pc), SBI (2.06 pc), Maruti Suzuki (1.53 pc),Infosys Tech (1.13 pc), L&T (1.03 pc) and BHEL (0.84 pc) cushioned the Sensex fall.

The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange barometer moved most of the day in the positive terrain but fag-end selling pulled it down to settle the day at 19,584.31, a fall of 17.92 points or 0.09 per cent.

In the previous three straight sessions, it had shot up 511.06 points or 2.68 per cent.

The NSE 50-issue Nifty also eased by 10.20 points or 0.17 per cent to end at 5,874.50.

In Asian markets, key indices from China, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore closed in the red, while South Korea ended in the green. Hong Kong market was closed on Monday.

"Below expected results from the index heavyweight RIL on Thursday evening led to a muted opening on the bourses. Selling was more pronounced during the last half an hour of
the choppy trade," said Bonanza Portfolio's Senior Research Analyst (Equity) Shanu Goel.

He added, however, "The market is likely to be volatile as settlement of April derivative contracts is due on 28th April. Results of ACC and Ambuja cements are also likely to affect the sentiments in the market."

Motilal Oswal Securities Senior Analyst Parag Doctor said, "The Sensex ended marginally down led by the Realty and Oil & Gas stocks. Most of the Global markets being closed kept the Indian market range bound amid thin volumes. PSU Banking and metal stocks saw some buying interest."

Agencies