MUMBAI: The benchmark BSE Sensex switched gears again, this time reversing yesterday's rally as it dropped by over 145 points today to close at 25,590.65 after investors booked profit amid mixed overseas cues.
The NSE Nifty broke below the 7,800-mark as IT, metal, FMCG and automakers led the fall.
Investors avoided building up their positions in a holiday-shortened week as markets will remain closed on Friday on account of Christmas and an approaching monthly expiry of the derivative segment next Thursday (December 31).
Weighed down by fresh selling, mostly due to profit-booking in blue-chips, the BSE Sensex remained in a range-bound before ending lower by 145.25 points, or 0.56 per cent, at 25,590.65.
The gauge had gained 216.68 points in yesterday's trade on hopes that Parliament would manage to pass the crucial bankruptcy Bill.
The NSE Nifty after slipping below the 7,800-level closed at 7,786.10, down 48.35 points, or 0.62 per cent.
Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 20 lost and 10 gained.
Stocks of IT exporters again came under selling pressure after the US Congress imposed a special outsourcing fee of up to USD 4,500 on H-1B and L-1 visas to fund a 9/11 healthcare Act and biometric tracking system.
Infosys, TCS and Wipro slid by up to 1.67 per cent, dragging down the BSE IT index by 1.15 per cent.
Other laggards were ITC Ltd, M&M, Adani Ports, Lupin, SBI, Hero MotoCorp, L&T Tata Motors, BHEL, Bajaj Auto, Tata Steel, RIL and Maruti Suzuki, which fell by up to 1.63 per cent.
Offering some cheer, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paint, GAIL, ICICI Bank and Hind Unilever advanced.
In broader markets, the BSE mid-cap index edged lower by 0.31 per cent while small-cap shed 0.02 per cent.
On the global front, Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei fell 0.16 per cent while Hong Kong Hang Seng edged higher by 0.18 per cent. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.26 per cent after China's leaders signalled taking further steps to support growth. European indices rebounded at the start of trading after falling heavily towards the end of the previous session.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 37.37 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.