BSE Sensex fell on Friday to mark its biggest weekly fall in eight weeks as profit-booking hit blue-chips such as Reliance Industries for a third consecutive day, extending the weak start to 2014 - Tata Motors, Reliance Industries (RIL) share prices drop, Infosys Ltd rises.
After dropping 157 points in early trade amid weak global cues, the BSE Sensex, however, recouped some losses in the latter half on the back of continued strength in IT stocks to end the day with a 37-point fall.
Selling in blue chips led by auto sector on reports of lower vehicle sales and funds offloading power and capital goods shares weighed on the market sentiment, traders said.
The Sensex, which lost 289 points in past two sessions, fell further by 37 points, or 0.18 per cent, to end at 20,851.33. The gauge had touched the day's low of 20,731.33 before sustained buying in IT, healthcare and consumer durables scrips helped trim initial losses for the index.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index NSE Nifty fell 10 points, or 0.16 per cent, to end at 6,211.15, after touching to a low of 6,171.25. Also, SX40 index of MCX-SX closed 50.62 points lower at 12,384.67.
Brokers said the falling auto sales in December dashed hopes of investors. Tata Motors dropped 2.49 per cent after the automaker reported 42 per cent fall in December sales, while Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd lost 3.85 per cent.
A weakening trend in the Asian region after a steep fall as gauge of China manufacturing declined in December, also dampened the sentiment, they added.
Bucking the trend, IT stocks led by Infosys advanced on weakening rupee. Infosys surged 2.61 per cent while Tata Consultancy Services rose by 2.76 per cent. The rupee was trading at 62.2 versus US dollar.
Sectorally, the BSE Power sector index suffered the most by losing 1.74 per cent, followed by capital goods index (1.71 per cent), Oil & Gas index (1.27 per cent) and Metal index (1.20 per cent).
Yesterday, US stocks kicked off the new year in the red, falling in a sell-off following solid gains in