Mumbai: In thin trade, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday declined by over 44 points as cautious investors booked profits ahead of industrial growth data and a weak global trend.
Sensex, which had gained 22 points on Tuesday, fell 44.44 points, or 0.26 percent, to 17,199.40. It had touched the day's high of 17,319.15.
The NSE 50-issue index Nifty fell 16.75 points, or 0.32 percent to 5,226.85, after dipping below 5,200 intra-day.
Brokers said investors were cautious ahead of the industrial growth data tomorrow and the Reserve Bank's policy meeting on Tuesday amid weak chances of cut in interest rates.
They said a weak trend in the Asian region and concerns over the European debt crisis weighed on investor sentiment. Metal sector suffered the most following a weak trend on the London Metal Exchange. Tata Steel, Sterlite Industries, Sesa Goa and Jindal Steel were prominent losers.
Of the 30 Sensex stocks, 18 closed in losses. Heavyweight Reliance Industries dropped by 1.36 percent.