The BSE benchmark Sensex today slipped by 76 points to close at one-week low and the NSE Nifty ended below the 6,000-mark on fag-end selling in FMCG, consumer durables, auto and metal shares, ahead of November industrial production data tomorrow.
The BSE 30-share barometer resumed better and moved in a narrow range till late afternoon trade before succumbing to fag-end selling to settle at 19,666.59, a fall of 75.93 points or 0.38 per cent. This is the lowest closing since 19,426.71 on December 31, 2012.
The broader 50-issue Nifty of the NSE fell back by 30.20 points or 0.50 per cent to end below 6K-mark at 5,971.50.
"A cautious approach ahead of IIP numbers and Q3 results led to the selling pressure," said Nidhi Sarswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
Selling was pronounced in two-wheeler shares including Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp that fell in 1.5-1.9 per cent range on growth concerns.
However, Tata Motors jumped nearly 4 per cent after reports of an upgrade by a foreign brokerage.
Fall in ITC, TCS, HDFC, L&T, Tata Steel, Infosys, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Auto, BHEL and HUL weighed on the Sensex while rise in Tata Motors, SBI, Bharti Airtel, M&M and ONGC restricted the benchmark index's decline to some extent.
The mood was nervous ahead of tomorrow's IIP data that is being perceived as a key indicator for the RBI to cut rates.
"November industrial growth will... likely contract by 1.5 per cent (0.4 per cent consensus) but essentially on post-Diwali base effects," said Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
According to market participants, the Sensex seems to be consolidating near 20,000-level and the Nifty at 6,000-mark before making an upmove.
Key benchmark indices from China and South Korea closed with losses while from Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan finished with gains.
However, European stocks were trading higher in their afternoon deals. The CAC was up by 0.16 per cent, the DAX by 0.13 per cent and the FTSE by 0.26 per cent.
Back home, 19 of the 30 Sensex-based counters finished with losses while others settled with gains. BHEL was the top loser with a fall of 2.69 per cent, followed by Tata Steel (2.54 pc), Bajaj Auto (1.96 pc), ITC (1.93 pc), TCS (1.74 pc), Jindal Steel (1.56 pc), Hero MotoCorp (1.55 pc), Sterlite Ind (1.47 pc), HDFC (1.30 pc), L&T (1.04 pc), NTPC (1.02 pc) and HUL (0.91 pc).
However, Tata Motors rose by 3.98 per cent, followed by GAIL India