Mumbai: Snapping a four-day upsurge, the Sensex on Thursday closed 31 points down to 17,398.98 on profit booking in FMCG and auto sectors amid worries over deficient monsoon.
The BSE benchmark index, which had gained over 547 points in the last four trading sessions, moved between 17,486.57 and 17,363.04 range as trading remained listless.
Out of the 30-share index, 16 stocks including HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel and Sterlite Industries while 13 scrips including ITC, Jindal Steel, HUL and Tata Motors ended lower. Reliance Industries was unchanged.
Brokers said market mood was partly dampened as global slowdown and deceleration in manufacturing pulled down India's May exports by 4.16 percent to USD 25.68 billion.
"Volatility gripped the market in the last half an hour of trading session as it pared all gains and slipped into red," said Shanu Goel, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
India's crucial monsoon rains have been 31 percent deficient so far and brokers said that has soured trading action a bit. A good monsoon increases rural income and boosts spending in FMCG and auto sectors, analysts said.
Market participants seem to have ignored data that showed the country's manufacturing sector inched up in June.
"However, demand remains weak...While inflationary pressures remain strong...Weak monsoon is also likely to add to food inflation pressures," said Sonal Varma, India Economist, Nomura.
FMCG and Auto sectoral indices logged losses while Realty, Consumer Durables and PSU indices gained 1-2.3 percent.
Similarly, the 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty closed marginally 0.30 points down to 5,278.60.
Meanwhile, Asian stocks ended mostly higher after manufacturing indicators in Japan and China beat forecasts and European leaders agreed on measures to ease the debt crisis.
Key benchmark indices in China, Singapore and Taiwan rose between 0.03 percent and 1.12 percent while those in Japan and Korea moved down by 0.04 percent and 0.13 percent. Hong Kong market was closed today for holiday.
European stocks were trading slightly higher, extending a rally scored at the end of last week after a summit meeting of European Union leaders produced more progress than expected toward shoring up the Eurozone's ailing banking sector.
Key indices in Germany and London inched up by 0.90 percent and 0.58 respectively. France market was closed on Thursday.
Back home, major losers from the Sensex pack were Jindal Steel (2.49 percent), Tata Motors (1.53 percent), TCS (1.36 percent) and Hero MotoCorp (1.30 percent).
Gainers included HDFC Bank that rose by 1.84 percent, followed by Bharti Airtel (1.59 percent), Sterlite (1.56 percent, BHEL (1.31 percent), Tata Steel (1.29 percent), HDFC (1.08 percent), GAIL India (1.01 percent), Hindalco (1 percent), M&M (0.97 percent) and SBI (0.95 percent).
Among sectoral indices, the BSE-FMCG dipped by 2.08 percent and BSE-Auto dropped by 0.56 percent while BSE-Realty rose by 2.32 percent, BSE-CD gained 1.24 percent, BSE-PSU rose by 0.74 percent and BSE-Bankex inched up 0.66 percent.
"Data on IIP, inflation, corporate results and the RBI's month-end policy meeting will drive the sentiment all through July," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.
Despire Sensex today concluding in the negative terrain, there was a smart rise in second-line stocks on good buying support from retail investors. Mmarket breadth was positive as 1,807 stocks closed up while 1,033 scrips settled lower.
Total turnover tumbled to 1,979.08 crore from Rs 3,948.92 crore recorded last Friday.
Meanwhile, Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 3,046.77 crores on last Friday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.