Mumbai: Erasing initial gains, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday fell over 34 points as investors booked profits in auto, banking and healthcare stocks amid a weak trend in the European markets.

The BSE 30-share index, Sensex, which rallied nearly 265 points to hit the day's high of 16,766.19 in the early trade, succumbed to profit-booking and settled 34.30 points down at 16,467.44 points. It had plunged almost 665 points in the past two trading sessions.

Brokers said the selling was triggered by a slide in the European markets in the opening trade, on account of the deepening euro-zone crisis, and paring of initial gains on the Asian bourses.

They said fears of another hike in interest rates by the Reserve Bank later this week, too had a negative impact on the trading sentiments, forcing players to keep their commitments restricted.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty ended in the negative territory with a marginal fall of 5.85 points at 4,940.95, after touching the day's high of 5,030.15 and a low of 4,911.05.

Bucking the trend, the two heaviest on the Sensex with 20 per cent weight - Reliance Industries and Infosys - managed to close in the positive zone and averted major any fall. RIL rose by 0.61 per cent, while IT bellwether Infosys was down 1.21 percent.

Major losers, which dragged the Sensex down, were State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Larsen and Toubro, HDFC Ltd, Tata Motors, Coal India, Cipla and ONGC.