The BSE Sensex and Nifty fell for a second consecutive session on Monday, retreating from record highs hit on Friday, weighed down by profit-taking in blue chips such as Larsen & Toubro and choppy global markets.
Investors also remained wary ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s two-day meet starting Tuesday, coming at a time of continued tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
Although hopes for a recovery in the economy and that the BharatiyaJanata Party led by NarendraModi will win elections continue to support shares, upcoming earnings results could keep trading volatile.
Idea Cellular is scheduled to report its results later in the day, while BhartiAirtel would be announcing its January-March results on Tuesday.
“Indian markets would continue to gain. Focus would be Modi and his track record first and earnings later,” said Samir Arora, founder & fund manager at Helios Capital from Singapore.
The Nifty lost 0.32 per cent, or 21.50 points, at 6,761.25, marking its lowest close since April 16 and retreating from a record high of 6,869.85 hit on Friday.
The Sensex fell 0.25 per cent, or 56.46 points, to 22,631.61, its lowest close since April 17, and below its all-time high of 22,939.31 hit on Friday.
Recent outperforming blue chips retreated, with Larsen & Toubro ending down 1.6 per cent after gaining 4.7 per cent over the previous two weeks. Housing Development Finance Corporation lost 1.1 per cent.
ACC fell 1.8 per cent, adding to Friday’s 2.73 per cent drop, while Ambuja Cements India closed 4.3 percent lower after slumping 4.4 per cent in the previous session on continued disappointment over their quarterly earnings last week.
BhartiAirtel fell 1.2 per cent on caution ahead of its January-March earnings due on Tuesday.
However, among stocks that gained, Fulford India, a domestic subsidiary of Merck & Co Inc, jumped 20 per cent to its maximum daily limit, after it approved a delisting offer from its parent company.
Agrichemicals and pesticides firm UPL ended higher 20 percent after marking its highest level since its demerger from Uniphos Enterprises in January 2004.