Mumbai: Erasing initial gains, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Monday fell 74 points, down for the third straight session, on increased sell-off by funds amid high inflation, below-expected corporate earnings and weak European markets.

The BSE 30-share index, which lost nearly 377 points in the previous two sessions, fell further by 74.08 points or 0.43 percent to 17,118.74, wiping off 1.2 per gains it made earlier in the day.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 20.50 points to 5,148.35, after touching a high of 5,228.90 during the session.

The market declined on lower second quarter earnings by bluechips such as Mahindra and Mahindra, and inflation rising marginally to 9.73 percent in October from 9.72 percent in September.

M&M, the largest maker of sports-utility vehicles and tractors, tumbled 5.73 percent after it reported a fall in standalone quarterly profits.

Tata Steel fell 4.03 percent to Rs 412.65 after having posted dip in earnings and metal prices globally.

Sensex heavyweight, Reliance Industries dropped 0.98 percent, while state-owned lender SBI declined 2.48 percent.

Globally, Asian markets were up but European equities opened weak amid worries over the euro-zone debt crisis.

The realty sector index suffered the most, down 2.56 percent to 1,763.29 and metal lost 2.16 percent to 11,027.14.

Of 30 index stocks, 21 closed with losses, while nine ended higher.

(Agencies)