Equities retreated from their record peak on fresh bout of profit-taking as investors turned cautious due to global sell-off and local factors that made the benchmark Nifty fall by 20 points today.
Emerging markets were hit by the overnight Wall Street rout triggered by valuation concerns, as investors dumped technology and bio-technology scrips.
Financial and banking shares lost ground ahead of announcement of index of industrial production (IIP) data (released after market hours) even as FMCG, auto and infra shares bore the brunt of selling as correction set in.
However, the beaten-down technology and healthcare stocks posted gains and provided support to the market.
After a sharp gap-down opening influenced by weak global cues, the market remained under intense selling pressure throughout the day. However, some low-level buying towards the tail-end helped the market to cut its losses.
On the economic front, exports dropped 3.15 per cent in March, limiting the growth rate for FY14 to around 4 per cent and falling short of the annual target by about USD 13 billion even as the trade deficit improved on shrinking gold imports.
The 50-share Nifty fluctuated between a high of 6,789.35 and a low of 6,743.15 before concluding at 6,776.30, a fall of 20.10 points, or 0.30 per cent, over its last close.
IndusInd Bank, SBIN, M&M, GAIL, Reliance, Tata Motors, DLF, HeroMoto, Hindalco and BPCL were the key losers. Notable gainers included HCL-Tech, Ambuja Cem, Sun Pharma, TechM, TCS, Cipla, Infosys, Wipro, NMDC and Dr Redddy's.
Turnover in the cash segment dropped to Rs 16,039.99 crore from Rs 19,772.05 crore yesterday. A total of 9,852.5 lakh shares changed hands in 72,45,702 trades, while market capitalisation stood at Rs 74,38,245 crore.