Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday retreated from over three-month high levels by losing 51 points on profit-booking in recent outperformers such as Reliance Industries, Sun Pharma and HDFC Bank ahead of key industrial production data release on Friday.
After gaining over 400 points in past three sessions, the Sensex on Thursday declined by 51.14 points, or 0.26 percent, to close at 19,939.04. The gauge had hit the crucial 20,000-level many times during the day but failed to build momentum.
Profit-booking in recent gainers such as RIL, Sun Pharma, Jindal Steel, Maruti Suzuki and Sterlite Ind. pulled 30-scrip Sensex down where 17 stocks fell. Tata Power remained flat.
Similarly, National Stock Exchange index fell by 19.15 points, or 0.32 percent, to 6,050.15. MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) flagship index SX40 fell 2.7 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at points 11,794.04 on Thursday.
Brokers said investors booked profits in some blue-chips that registered gains in last few sessions ahead of March IIP on Friday and a weakening trend elsewhere in Asia and Europe.
"Also, in the one-sided rally seen in last four weeks, market participants become sceptical as to whether to buy at these high levels or not," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
While healthcare, metal and realty stocks saw selling, IT sector was the best performer of the day after US-based Cognizant's maintained its annual revenue outlook, boosting investor sentiment. HCL Tech gained over 2.6 percent, followed by TCS (1.52 pc), Wipro (0.80 pc) and Infosys (0.40 pc).
Meanwhile, Union Bank, Indian Bank and Punjab National Bank gained in 2-4 percent range after posting good results.
In small-cap space, Viceroy Hotels zoomed 20 percent after its board gave nod for selling Chennai Project Division for Rs 480 crore. IT training firm Aptech gained over 16 percent on buyback buzz, said dealers.
Globally, Asian markets ended mixed. European indices were trading lower in late trades.  South Korean stocks jumped after a surprise rate cut by the nation's central bank. Key indices in China, Hong Kong and Japan closed lower while those from Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan finished higher.
European stock markets were trading lower in their early trade after reports said Chinese data showed consumer price inflation rose more than expected in April. Key indices in France, Germany and UK eased in 0.06-0.98 percent range.
Turning to the local market, 17 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex pack ended lower while 12 finished higher and Tata Power ended unchanged.
Major losers were Sun Pharma (3.73 pc), Jindal Steel (3.42 pc), Sterlite Ind (2.28 pc), Cipla (1.47 pct, RIL (1.33 pc), Maruti Suzuki (1.25 pc), Coal India (1.09 pc), Tata Steel (0.97 pc), HDFC Bank (0.96 pc) and HDFC (0.68 pc).
However, SBI firmed up by 1.81 percent, followed by TCS (1.52 pc), Wipro (0.80 pc), Hindalco Ind. (0.54 pc) and ITC (0.48 pc) in Sensex.
Among the sectoral indices, S&P BSE-HC dropped by 1.62 percent, followed S&P BSE-Metal (1.46 pc), S&P BSE-Realty (1.10 pc), S&P BSE-CD (0.88 pc) and S&P BSE-Oil&Gas (0.62 pc) while S&P BSE-IT firmed up by 0.89 percent and S&P BSE-Teck by 0.50 percent.
The total market breadth turned negative as 1,322 stocks ended lower while 1,079 stocks closed higher. 167 stocks ruled steady.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 976.99 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.


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