Indian stocks snapped their two-day winning streak to end a tad lower after a choppy session on December 29, as buying in pharma and auto names minimised the losses.
At close, the Sensex was down 90.99 points, or 0.16 percent, at 57,806.49, and the Nifty was down 19.70 points, or 0.11 percent, at 17,213.60.
After a flat start, the market remained in the range and finished marginally lower. Broader indices, however, outperformed the benchmarks, with BSE midcap index rising 0.13 percent and the smallcap adding 0.5 percent.
Eicher Motors, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto, IndusInd Bank and Divis Labs were among the top Nifty gainers. Losers included ITC, SBI, Coal India, Tech Mahindra and Grasim Industries.
Except auto and pharma, all sectoral indices ended in the red, with the metal index down a percent.
The BSE healthcare index added 1.7 percent, while metal index fell a percent. Selling was also seen in bank, FMCG and power stocks.
Among individual stocks, a volume spike of more than 100 percent was seen in Escorts, Indiabulls Housing and JK Cement.
A long build-up was seen in Escorts, Apollo Hospitals and Eicher Motors, while there was a short build-up in JK Cement, Mindtree and Interglobe Aviation.
More than 400 stocks, including Escorts, Bartronics India, Sintex Industries, CG Power and Industrial Solutions, hit a 52-week high on the BSE.