Investors booked profits from recent upsurge for the third day in a row amid lower global trends, brokers said.

The 30-share barometer fell by over 160 points to touch a day's low of 22,197.51 due to profit selling intra-day. Later, the Sensex recovered due to select buying but still ended lower by 16.05 points, or 0.07 percent, at 22,343.45. The index had lost over 200 points since April 3.

However, the broad-based Nifty index of National Stock Exchange managed to end flat with a moderate improvement of 0.70 point, or 0.01 percent at 6,695.05, after touching the day's lowest level of 6,650.40.

Restricting the market's losses, Sun Pharma gained 2.68 percent after it agreed to buy troubled Ranbaxy for USD 3.2 billion. Ranbaxy, however, plunged 3.12 percent. TCS and SBI gained up to 1 percent.

Brokers said caution prevailed as a five-week election process started on Monday and market participants reduced their positions created in the recent record setting spree. They said a weakening Asian trend followed by a fall in US stock markets on Friday and a lower opening in Europe further influenced the market sentiment.

In 30-BSE index components 16 stocks declined while 14 closed with gains. The realty sector index suffered the most by losing 1.37 percent to 1,505.71 followed by consumer durables by 1.24 percent to 6,639.82. Power index fell by 0.69 percent to 1,711.96 and banking index by 0.40 percent to 1,4305.35.


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