Persistent selling by foreign investors on MAT worries, disappointing Q4 earning numbers and delay in land acquisition bill led to book-profiting ahead of expiry of the April derivatives contract expiring on Friday.
    
"Profit-booking before the important Q4 numbers, Fed meet on 28-29th April and MAT issue is fuelling this correction," said Vinod Nair, Head-Fundamental Research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Telecom giant, Bharti Airtel settled down by 3.32 percent and was the top loser from the Sensex pack as its March quarter net profit failed to enthuse investors.
    
Airtel had reported a 30.5 percent jump in its March quarter's net profit at Rs 1,255 crore on Wednesday. Meanwhile, HDFC, which on Thursday reported a 9.6 percent increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 2,646.35 crore for the March quarter, fell by 2.11 percent.
    
Selling was mainly seen in FMCG, auto, metal and refinery counters, while realty, consumer durable, pharma, IT and banking stocks attracted buying support.
    
The BSE 30-share index resumed a shade lower at 27,395.71 and slipped further to a low of 27,176.54. It recovered briefly to touch the session's high of 27,438.96 on short-covering of positions in select bluechip stocks.

However, it succumbed to selling in late afternoon trade and finally settled at 27,225.93, a loss of 170.45 points or 0.62 percent.
    
The 50-issue NSE Nifty also moved down by 45.85 points or 0.55 percent to 8,239.75 after shuttling between 8.219.20 and 8,308.20 intra-day.
    
Lack of fresh trigger from overseas markets too weighed on the local stocks as Asian markets closed mixed. However, European stocks were trading slightly better in their morning deals.
    
Meanwhile, FPIs sold shares worth Rs 1,532.84 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data. Asian stocks ended lower as investors digested the raft of earnings due in the region and awaited Federal Reserve's statement. Key indices in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan moved down by 0.15 to 1.03 percent, while Shanghai composite inched up by 0.01 percent.
    
However, European markets were trading higher in their afternoon trade as indices in France, Germany and the UK moved up by 0.03 to 0.13 percent.
    
Turning to the local market, 23 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex ended lower, while seven finished higher.    

Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research at Veracity Broking Services said: "Blue-chips continued to slip on ongoing worries about retrospective taxes and also lower-than-expected first quarter earnings so far. Equities moved between gains and losses but investors showed some concern ahead of the monthly derivatives contract expiry due tomorrow, which forced indices to close in red."

Major losers on the Sensex were Bharti Airtel 3.32 percent, ITC (2.76 percent), Vedanta (2.15 percent), HDFC (2.11 percent), Tata Motors (1.87 percent), RIL (1.59 percent), Maruti (1.48 percent) and Dr Reddy's (1.04 percent).
    
However, Axis Bank rose by 3.30 percent, followed by GAIL 2.01 percent, Wipro 1.87 percent, Sun Pharma 1.61 percent and ICICI Bank 1.07 percent.
    
Among the BSE sectoral indices FMCG fell by 1.63 percent, auto 0.57 percent and oil&gas 0.51 percent, while realty rose by 0.92 percent, consumer durables 0.82 percent and healthcare by 0.57 percent.    

The market breadth remained positive as 1,524 counters ended in the green, while 1,182 finished in the red and 105 held stable. The total turnover fell to Rs 2,964.28 crore from Rs 3,444.56 crore on Wednesday.

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