The index, which opened in the positive zone gave up all of its gains as investors preferred to reduce positions ahead of a key US macroeconomic data.
"Market participants took a cautious approach ahead of the US job data that could act as a strong cue as to when the Fed will raise interest rates," said Alex Mathews, Head Research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
During the day, state-run power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) shocked the market by posting 82.48 percent plunge in standalone net profit at Rs 33.89 crore for the quarter ended June 30.
BHEL was the biggest loser on both the benchmark indices of BSE and the NSE. At BSE, company's shares plunged by 5.81 percent to Rs 265.80.
Besides, State Bank of India lost 2.38 percent, while Cipla dropped 0.90 percent.
Witnessing high volatility, power, banking, metal, capital goods and realty stocks ended the day in the red.
Commencing higher at 28,327.11, the 30-share Sensex further rose to touch the day's high of 28,335.67. However, profit-booking at higher-levels pulled the index to intra-day low of 28,193.93.
The 30-share index settled 61.74 points or 0.22 percent down at 28,236.39. In previous two days, the gauge had gained 226.20 points.
The 50-issue Nifty settled 24.05 points or 0.28 percent lower at 8,564.60, after touching a high of 8,595.95. Intra-day it touched a low of 8,552.70.
"Markets continue to trade in consolidation mood... Disappointing earnings by State-run BHEL and profit booking in select banks, financials and pharma stocks dragged the indices lower," said Gaurav Jain, Director at Hem Securities    .
The support, however, came from Tata Motors, whose shares jumped 2.52 percent on BSE.
Company shares rose even after it posted a 48.7 percent plunge in consolidated net profit at Rs 2,768.91 crore for the first quarter.
Globally, Asian markets closed higher, while Europe was also lower in their early trade.


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