Major equity indices traded in the red throughout the day on Monday ahead of the key macro-data release on Tuesday, with Sensex closing 150 points lower, while the Nifty ended below the 10,900-point mark.
Barring the IT and Teck stocks, all other sectors ended lower. On the NSE, PSU Bank Nifty closed 1.74 per cent down. The pharma sector also witnessed heavy selling pressure.
Selling pressure continued in the market despite a rebound in global markets as investors turned risk-averse due to upcoming election, said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd.
Besides, Nair added that third quarterly results have failed to enthuse investors as the "scope of downgrade in earnings further dampened the sentiment".
The BSE Sensex closed 151.45 points or 0.41 per cent lower at 36,395.03 from its previous close of 36,546.48 points, while the Nifty closed 54.80 points down at 10,888.80.
"Global trade deal and risk of slowdown in growth continue to give caution, while investors remain focused on tomorrow's (Tuesday) CPI inflation and IIP data to get some direction."
"Broader participation is not happening. Also, we are witnessing some profit booking post the Interim Budget and RBI rate cut," Rusmik Oza, Head - Fundamental Research, Kotak Securities, told IANS.
"In the run-up to the general elections, investors are looking at sectors which are less susceptible to domestic factors. Therefore, the export-oriented IT stocks are gaining."
Tata Steel emerged the top gainer, up 2.31 per cent on Sensex, followed by Power Grid, HCL Tech, Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors, which gained up to 1.50 per cent.
Among losers in the Sensex pack, Mahindra and Mahindra shed over 5 per cent, followed by ONGC, Bajaj Finance, Reliance Industries and State Bank of India.