Falling for the first time in five sessions, the BSE benchmark Sensex today retreated from 30-month high levels by losing 62 points to end at 20,223.98 on profit-booking in recent gainers in healthcare, consumer durable and banking sectors.
After a steady start, Sensex touched intra-day high of 20,443.62 but emergence of profit-selling in ICICI Bank, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddys, Cipla and RIL dragged 30-share index to end 20,223.98, a fall of 62.14 points, or 0.31 per cent.
This is the first time in five sessions the Sensex ended in the negative terrain. It had climbed 595 points in past four sessions to touch highest levels since January, 2011.
Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty, after touching a psychological 6,200 level, fell by 30.40 points, or 0.49 per cent to close at 6,156.90. SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, also ended 25.02 points or 0.21 per cent lower at 11,947.50.
"Markets opened on a strong note on firmness in global markets and surged to new highs. However, profit booking was seen...Auto stocks like M&M, Bajaj Auto and Maruti were in limelight and showed strength while healthcare and consumer durables indices lost more than one percent each," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
Traders said investors and funds were encashing the recent upsurge in particular sectors and this 'technical correction' is good for the market health.
Banking stocks corrected after they gained recently on hopes of a rate cut while pharma shares slid on fears the new pharma pricing policy may hurt profits, they added.
Outside major indices, Tata Teleservices surged nearly 20 per cent, Hindustan Door by 17.8 per cent, Thomas Cook by 12.4 per cent and KSK Energy by 11.2 per cent on solid buying.
The healthcare sector index suffered the most by losing 1.79 per cent to 8,999.79 followed by consumer durable index by 1.19 per cent to 7,452.70. Banking index lost 0.92 per cent to 15,074.81 and oil and gast index by 0.86 per cent to 8,953.95.