Mumbai: The Sensex on Wednesday dropped 129 points from four-month high level as investors booked profits in view of 23 percent deficient rain so far amid weakness in global markets.
The 30-share BSE barometer, which had surged yesterday by 226 points to levels last seen in March 15, opened lower in the morning session. It stayed in the negative terrain throughout with 25 stocks led by Hindalco, Wipro and Tata Motors finishing with losses.
Blue-chips RIL and ITC lost about 2 percent each.
At close, the Sensex was lower by 129.21 points, or 0.73 percent, to close at 17,489.14. Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty shed 39.05 points to settle at 5,306.30.
Brokers said reports of deficient monsoon rain soured investors' mood as they feared it might hamper efforts to boost economy and hurt earnings.
Earlier in the day, IMD Director General L S Rathore in New Delhi said monsoon has covered the entire country but it is still "minus 23 percent."
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar also said the government is worried about poor rains in Karnataka and central Maharashtra, which would affect production of coarse cereals.
A lower opening in European stock markets on reports that Germany's top court has agreed to examine complaints lodged against the European Union's bailout fund aggravated domestic market woes.
The overall market breadth was negative with 1,617 shares ending the day with losses while 1,211 scrips ended higher.
Auto stocks, including Maruti and Hero MotoCorp, fell on fears that less rains might reduce demand in rural areas.
IT majors Infosys (up 0.3 percent) and TCS ( down 0.2 percent) moved in opposite directions ahead of April-June earnings tomorrow.
Selling was seen across-the-board as 12 out of 13 sectoral indices closed in negative while only BSE-Capital Goods closed higher.
Asian stocks finished narrowly mixed amid concerns over deepening global economic slowdown. Key benchmark indices in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan ended with minor losses while those from China, Hong Kong and Singapore settled with gains.
In Europe, France's CAC and the UK's FTSE were trading lower in their afternoon deals while Germany's DAX was quoting higher.
Back home, major losers from the Sensex pack were Hindalco Ind (2.74 pc), Wipro (2.68 pc), Tata Motors (2.03 pc), Sterlite Industries (1.89 pc), Bharti Airtel (1.87 pc), RIL (1.87 pc), ITC (1.65 pc), Maruti Suzuki (1.49 pc), BHEL (1.36 pc) and Tata Power (1.33 pc).
Amongst gainers, L&T rose 1.20 percent, followed by NTPC (0.44 pc), Infosys (0.29 pc) and Gail India (0.25 pc).
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Auto fell by 1.18 percent, followed by the BSE-FMCG (1.14 pc), the BSE-Realty (1.06 pc), the BSE-Metal (1.05 pc) and the BSE-Oil&Gas (1.05 pc).
The total turnover firmed up to Rs 2,004.12 crore from Rs 1,818.07 crore yesterday.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued their buying spree and they pumped in Rs 971.20 crore in first two days of the current week, as per Sebi data.
First Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 14:12