Mumbai: The BSE Sensex touched the 16k level after three weeks on Wednesday but fell 57 points to 15,882.64 in a volatile trade on profit booking after the gains of the last two sessions, amid weak trend in global markets.

Investors are being cautious ahead of corporate results ofn the third quarter ended December, analysts said. Infosys will open the Q3 results season next week.

Selling in Bharti Airtel, RIL, Infosys, HUL, TCS, M&M, Bajaj Auto and HDFC weighed down the market. However, buying in ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, BHEL, L&T and ONGC contained the fall.

The BSE 30-share index, Sensex, made gains initially but fell soon. It moved up again and touched a high of 16,004.69, before ending the day at 15,882.64 -- down 56.72 points or 0.36 per cent. On Tuesday, it had spurted 421.44 points or 2.72 per cent, in addition to 63 point gain on Monday.

The 50-issue NSE index, Nifty, also fell 15.65 points or 0.33 per cent to 4,749.65.

Globally, while Asian markets showed a mixed trend, those in Europe opened weak.

"Volatility was the order of the day. Besides, corporate India will kick start their result season with leading companies Infosys and HDFC announcing their Q3 FY'12 results on January 12 (making investors cautious)," said Shanu Goel Research Analyst Bonanza Portfolio.

"There was profit booking in the market after a sharp rally in the last trading session. Higher deficit and slowdown in economy are major (long term) concerns in the market," said Parag Doctor, Associate VP at Motilal Oswal Securities.

(Agencies)