Mumbai: Even as food inflation declined, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex slipped for the third day on Thursday losing over 21 points on selling by funds. The 30-share barometer went down by 21.02 points to 19,591.18 points.

The market had gained over nine per cent in the March month.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell below the crucial 5,900 level losing 6.05 points to close at 5,885.70 points.

After easing food inflation and crude oil prices in global trade, the markets, which remained weak at the outset, tended to look up and reduced the losses.

Lenders gained as easing inflation faded the fears of the Reserve Bank of India hiking interest rate in its meeting next month.

The most-heaviest on the Sensex, Reliance Industries fell by Rs 3.70 to Rs 1,040.15 and second-heaviest Infosys Technologies by Rs 23.15 to Rs 3,247.45.

The largest exporter of software services, Tata Consultancy Services dipped to Rs 1,199.40 from Rs 24.45.

The IT, Oil and Gas, Teck, PSU, Consumer Durables, FMCG and auto sector index declined, while realty, capital goods, healthcare, bank and metal sector rose and saved the market
from any major fall.