Mumbai: The BSE Sensex after taking a day's breather fell by 81 points to close at 24,772.97 Thursday on rupee plunging to multi-year low, while investors ignored the better-than-expected third quarter numbers of Infosys.
The rupee cracked below the 67-mark again against the US dollar by slumping 44 paise to Rs 67.29 -- a level not seen since September 2013.
Besides, Infosys reported a robust 6.6 percent rise in its third quarter net profit and raised its annual revenue growth forecast, sending shares up 4.28 percent.
Consolidated net profit rose to Rs 3,465 crore in December quarter compared with Rs 3,250 crore in the same period a year ago, the IT major said in a statement.
Meanwhile, deflationary trend eased in December with WPI inflation moving up to (-)0.73 percent as food articles, mainly vegetables, turned costlier.
"Indices consolidated post sharp recovery after the release of WPI numbers, which remains in the negative zone.
Weak global indices also weighed on the sentiment," said Gaurav Jain Director Hem Securities.
On weaker Asian and European cues, the benchmark BSE index had opened about 300 points lower to hit a low of 24,473.22.
However, on revival of value-buying in select counters it managed to regain 25,000 mark briefly and touched a high of 25,018.46. Finally, it ended 81.14 points or 0.33 percent down at 24,772.97. The gauge had gained 172.08 points in yesterday's highly volatile session.
The NSE Nifty settled the day 25.60 points or 0.34 percent lower at 7,536.80.
Shares of Tata Steel slumped 3.36 percent to close at Rs 238.70 after global rating agency S&P downgraded the company on weak operating performance.
Besides, stocks of Axis Bank, SBI, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank too suffered losses of up to 3.90 percent, dragging down the BSE Banking index by 1.67 percent.
Asian stocks ended in a negative zone with sentiment hit adversely due to a selloff in US stocks. Key indices like Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan fell by 0.59 percent to 2.68 percent while Shanghai Composite index ended with gains of 1.97 percent.
Key European indices like France, Germany and the UK fell between 1.76 percent and 2.43 percent.
Back home, out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 21 scrips ended lower.
Major losers were Tata Motors (2.63 percent), SBI (2.56 percent), L&T (1.98 percent), GAIL (1.62 percent), Hero MotoCorp (1.52 percent), RIL (1.50 percent) and ICICI Bank (1.47 percent).
Major gainers were Lupin 3.02 percent, Asian Paints (2.39 percent), Cipla (0.84 percent), Dr Reddy's (0.84 percent) and ONGC (0.83 percent).
In broader markets, the BSE small-cap index edged lower by 1.27 percent while mid-cap shed 1 percent.
Among BSE sectoral and industry indices, capital goods fell 1.77 percent followed by bankex 1.67 percent, industrials (1.65 percent), realty (1.46 percent), power (1.32 percent), auto (1.27 percent) and metal (1.19 percent).
However, IT rose by 1.93 percent followed by teck (1.54 percent) and FMCG (0.16 percent).
The market breadth remained negative as 1,883 stocks ended lower, 805 closed higher while 171 ruled steady. The total turnover dropped to about Rs 3,149 crore from Rs 4,506.31 crore yesterday.