In the closing session, Sensex slipped 155.02 points at 17,486.06 and Nifty closed at 5225.65, down 49.20 points.
The losses were capped to major extent by the banking and select metal stocks along with BHEL as they outperformed others in the largecap space.
Divestment candidates continued their run for the second consecutive day, which started after the comment by divestment secretary on Monday, Jan 18.
Andrew Yule, Transport Corporation, National Fertiliser and FACT were locked at 20pc upper circuit each.
Rashtriya Chemical and Hindustan Copper shot up nearly 19pc. HMT gained 14pc, ITI was up 11pc and NMDC moved 5.6pc. STC India surged 6pc.
Sensex volatile with negative bias
Sensex was trading marginally lower amidst consistent volatility owing to tussle between bulls and bears.
Technology, cement, realty, power, pharma, select capital goods and auto stocks figured in the profit booking.
Market was also under pressure due to weak European cues.
At 1: 56 pm BSE Sensex was down 68 points at 17,572 and the Nifty was up 24 points at 5,250.
Top percentage gainers include Andrew Yule, Mount Everest, National Fertiliser, AVT Natural and FACT up 20pc each.
Rashtriya Chemical shot up 16.69pc, Hindustan Copper gained 16.61pc.
Among the midcaps, gainers were Gammon India and Shriram City up 8.7 to 10pc while HT Media, Bajaj Hindusthan, PTC India, Sun Pharma Advanced and Apollo Tyres lost 3 to 6pc.
In the smallcap space, Kolte-Patil, Solvay Pharma, ITI and Mangalore Chemical shot up 10 to 11pc. However, OCL Iron, Richa Industries, Dharani Sugars, OCL India and Gee Kay Finance slipped nearly 5pc.
Sensex trading low; tech, auto dip
Sensex was trading marginally lower amid volatility, supported by selling in technology, oil & gas exploration, FMCG, realty, telecom, cement and select auto stocks.
But the losses were capped to a major extent by buying interest in metal and select banking stocks along with BHEL and Reliance Infrastructure
At 11:19 am, Sensex was trading at 17,597, down 43 points and the Nifty was at 5,259, down 15 points.
In NSE Nifty, the negative contributors were ONGC, TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HDFC, NTPC and DLF while the positive contributors were BHEL, Sterlite, SAIL, JSPL, ICICI Bank and SBI.
The most active shares on the bourses were Hindustan Copper, NMDC, Mahindra Satyam, STC India, Dredging Corporation and Jindal Steel.
Among the midcaps, Andrew Yule, Mahindra Holiday, STC India, GMDC and National Fertiliser shot up 6 to 12pc. However, Apollo Tyres, Sun Pharma Advanced, UTV Software, Hotel Leela and Anant Raj Industries lost 2 to 3.3pc.
In the smallcap space, the gainers were Solvay Pharma, Mount Everest, Numeric Power, Walchandnagar and Subhash Project up 8 to 12pc, while Richa Industries, Dharani Sugars, Vindhya Telelink, Gee Kay Finance and Vinati Organics with 4 to 5pc lost were losers.
Sensex opens on quiet note; RIL gains
At the opening session, Sensex started on a quiet note, owing to mixed cues from Asian markets.
Whie buying were witnessed in metal and power stocks, along with Reliance Industries, SBI and Reliance Comm, echnology, FMCG, select auto and cement stocks along with ONGC, BHEL and HDFC Bank were under pressure.
At 9:03 am, BSE Sensex was trading at 17,625, down 15 points and the Nifty was at 5,270, down 4 points.
Among the fronltiners, the gainers in the early trade were Reliance Capital, Jaiprakash Associates, Maruti, Sterlite Industries, Tata Steel, Jindal Steel & Power, SAIL, Reliance Communications, IDFC, SBI and Tata Power.
After rallying on 3 pc on Jan 18, GAIL shot up another 1pc on 239pc jump in Q3 net profit.
In the Midcap and Smallcap space:
The top traded counter was City Union Bank with 4.5pc gain. NMDC rose 5.4pc; MTNL up 2pc and STC India gained 3.5pc.
Federal Bank was up 3pc; Geometric Software shot up 4pc and DCB up 2pc. Sesa Goa went up 2pc on good set of numbers.
Madras Fertilisers rose 2pc, while ahead of board meetings, Shree Renuka Sugars was up 1.5pc, UCO Bank rose 1.5pc.
On the other, Chambal Fertiliser, Praj Industries and Mahindra Satyam slipped 1pc each.
Asian markets were mixed in trade. While Shanghai, Jakarta and Kospi were marginally up, Hang Seng, Nikkei and Straits Times were marginally down. Taiwan lost 0.8pc.