The BSE Sensex today fluctuated wildly as investors grappled with fine-print of Narendra Modi government's maiden Budget and finally ended 72 points down at nearly two-week low of 25,372.75.
Sensex closed lower as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's pledge to narrow the fiscal deficit and open up sectors such as insurance and defence were offset by disappointment over the lack of major reforms.
The BSE index's third straight day of losses were also a result of late profit-taking that wiped out mid-session gains.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced steps to strengthen investor confidence, improve fiscal situation and boost growth in the Union Budget 2014-15.
After rising to 25,920.46 points, the Sensex succumbed to profit-booking at the fag-end to touch the day's low of 25,117.00, before settling 72.06 points down, or 0.28 per cent, at 25,372.75.
Intra-day, the index swung over 800 points as investors resorted to alternative bouts of buying and selling.
Today's close is the lowest since 25,099.92 (June 27).
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty shed 17.25 points, or 0.23 per cent, to close at 7,567.75. It had dipped below the 7,500 mark to touch day's low of 7,479.05. Intra-day, it climbed to 7,731.05 during a volatile session.
"As expected, the new government didn't come up with any big-bang changes to what was introduced in the interim budget by UPA government. However, markets are disappointed on the fiscal consolidation front. The budget didn't speak anything about the rationalization of subsidies which was widely expected by most market players," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
Among 30-Sensex constituents, 17 ended lower while 13 finished higher. Major losers were SBI (1.31 per cent), ICICI Bank (0.88 per cent), Axis Bank (0.78 per cent), HDFC Ltd (0.16 per cent), HDFC Bank (0.65 per cent) and Bharti Airtel (1.71 per cent).
Bajaj Auto (0.80 per cent), Hero MotoCorp (3.99 per cent), Mahindra and Mahindra (1.44 per cent), Tata Motors (0.89 per cent) and TCS (2.06 per cent) also ended lower, provisional data shows.
"Overall, FM has set the ball rolling but has fallen short of laying down the longer roadmap. FM's commitment to stick to 4.1 per cent fiscal deficit target inspite of oil crisis, poor monsoon is commendable but appears a bit ambitious," said Dinesh Kanabar Deputy CEO, KPMG in India.
IT major Infosys, in line with overall trends fell, 0.35