Marketmen said the top heavyweight stocks moved southward on the back of profit booking after Monday's sharp rally and ended weak. Selling was seen in metal, banking, realty, FMCG, pharma and major capital goods stocks. However, telecom, oil and major auto stocks witnessed buying interest. European markets were trading higher. Key benchmark indices in UK, Germany and France rose between 0.39 pc and 1.24 pc. Asian stocks dropped. Key benchmark indices in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea were down between 0.93 pc and 3.51 pc, which reflected in the downward trend at the Indian bourses, brokers pointed out.
The Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) lost 13.6 points or 0.3 pc, to end at 4468.70.
Sensex opened 130.64 points lower at 14,814.33. At the day's high of 14,998.32 hit in mid-afternoon trade, the Sensex gained 53.35 points. At the day's low of 14,714.92 hit in early trade, the Sensex lost 230.05 points.
The S &P CNX Nifty slipped 13.6 points or 0.3 per cent to end at 4468.70. Nifty September 2008 futures were at 4481, at a premium of 12.30 points as compared to spot closing.
The BSE Sensex is so far down 5386.23 points or 26.55 per cent in 2008 from its close of 20,286.99 on December 31 2007.
Markets had started on a weak note and traded lower throughout the day. They bounced back a bit in second half of session due to positive European markets but it did not sustain for long and both indices turned back into negative territory.
However, telecom stocks have shown smart recovery and ended strong. Idea Cellular, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communication, MTNL and Tata Teleservices gained ground.
Turnover traded in markets was at Rs 58915.19 crore. This includes Rs 10,382.81 crore from NSE Cash segment, Rs 43,958.71 crore from NSE F&O and balance Rs 4,573.67 crore from BSE Cash segment.
The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 4550 crore as compared to Rs 4,505.75 crore yesterday. NSE's futures &options (F&O) segment turnover was Rs 43,958.71 crore, which was lower than Rs 45,977.53 crore, the previous day.