Reacting to fears that the ongoing budget impasse would hit the move to hike the US government's debt ceiling, the Sensex in opening trade plummeted to a low of 19,647.88 -- down 267 points.
However, steady buying in information technology stocks on a weak rupee helped the 30-share index close with a slender loss of 20.85 points, or 0.10 percent, at 19,895.10.
This is the first daily loss in four straight sessions for the Sensex that gained over 530 points in the last 3 days to reach a two-week high.
Brokers said the market remained under pressure and moved erratically as investors remained cautious before Infosys kicks off the major earnings season on Friday.
In Sensex, 17 stocks declined led by ICICI Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel, Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, Reliance Industries and Tata Motors.
"The ongoing indecision in US leading to the government shutdown for the second week has made investors cautious and they are seen booking profits in rallies," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell 1.15 points to 5,906.15, after falling to 5,825.85.     The falling trend in benchmark indices was checked following upsurge in IT stocks led by TCS and Infosys. Over 60 percent of revenues of leading software exporting companies comes from the US and Europe. The rupee was last trading at 61.93 versus the dollar, down almost 50 paise.
Sectorally, the BSE Bankex  index suffered the most by losing 1.16 percent, followed by PSU (-0.41 pc), Capital Goods (-0.39 pc), Realty (-0.32 pc), Consumer Durable (-0.29 pc).


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