The BSE benchmark Sensex today ended lower by 16 points as late buying in select stocks, mainly in Sun Pharma, TCS and SBI counters, helped the market to recover partly from initial losses.
Investors booked profits from recent upsurge for the third day in a row amid lower global trends, brokers said.
The 30-share barometer fell by over 160 points to touch a day's low of 22,197.51 due to profit selling intra-day. Later, the Sensex recovered due to select buying but still ended lower by 16.05 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 22,343.45.
The index had lost over 200 points since April 3.
However, the broad-based Nifty index of National Stock Exchange managed to end flat with a moderate improvement of 0.70 point, or 0.01 per cent at 6,695.05, after touching the day's lowest level of 6,650.40.
Restricting the market's losses, Sun Pharma gained 2.68 per cent after it agreed to buy troubled Ranbaxy for USD 3.2 billion. Ranbaxy, however, plunged 3.12 per cent.
TCS and SBI gained up to 1 per cent.
Brokers said caution prevailed as a five-week election process started today and market participants reduced their positions created in the recent record setting spree.
They said a weakening Asian trend followed by a fall in the US stock markets on Friday and a lower opening in Europe further influenced the market sentiment.
In 30-BSE index components 16 stocks declined while 14 closed with gains.
The realty sector index suffered the most by losing 1.37 per cent to 1,505.71 followed by consumer durables by 1.24 per cent to 6,639.82. Power index fell by 0.69 per cent to 1,711.96 and banking index by 0.40 per cent to 1,4305.35.