After six sessions of gain, the BSE 30-share Sensex broke its run and ended in the red. The decline today was attributed to profit booking by investors which pushed the Sensex below the 17,000 mark. The Sensex had surged 11.5% in the month so far.
Sensex ended at 16,863 down 371 points or 2.2% and the 50-share Nifty ended at 5,087 down 117 points or 2.3%. The Sensex and the Nifty reached an intra-day low of 16,828 levels and 4,707 mark, respectively.
There were negative cues from the global market as well, with investors waiting for a resolution of the debt crisis, as Eurozone leaders went into a huddle to introduce fresh measures to restructure the Greek debt.
The Nikkei 225,Hang Seng, the Kopsi, and the Strait Times all fell by about 1% to 2%. European stocks exchanges opened weak with the CAC, the DAX and the FTSE all declining by 1%. Only the Taiwan Index rose by about 2%.
In the Indian markets, all 13 sectoral indices on the BSE ended in the red. RIL dropped by 3% on profit booking, the companyâ€™s stock has been rising for the past week on news of the share buyback. The buyback is scheduled for the 1st of February 2012. The buyback will continue till the 19th of January 2013.
ICICI Bank, L&T and RIL were among the stocks that dragged the index down.
Broader markets also ended lower with the BSE 500 index slipping 2.1 percent down from its previous close. The market breadth was negative with 997 stocks advancing, 1,820 declining and 98 remaining unchanged.
Prominent gainers on the 30-scrip Sensex included Sun Pharma, up 1.34 percent at Rs.536; Bajaj Auto, up 0.48 percent at Rs.1,545.65; Jindal Steel, up 0.41 percent at Rs.531.40 and Hero MotoCorp, up 0.13 percent at Rs.1,824.20.
Among losers were BHEL, down 10.41 percent at Rs.245.15; Sterlite Industries, down 5.99 percent at Rs.112.95; L&T, down 5.37 percent at Rs.1,307.35; and ICICI Bank, down 4.07 percent at Rs.851.95.
According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors bought stocks worth $274.78 million Monday. FIIs have pumped in $2.05 billion this month.