Mumbai: Profit booking, along with the forecast of a delay in the onset of the southwest monsoon and concerns over global trade tensions, dragged the country's key equity markets lower on Tuesday.
However, the sharp correction during the late afternoon session was proceeded by a hefty rally in which the barometer S&P BSE Sensex touched a new lifetime, intra-day high of 40,312.07 points.
The early rally was supported by investors' hopes on a easier monetary policy rates during the upcoming review on Thursday.
Consequently, the S&P BSE Sensex closed 184.08 points or 0.46 per cent lower at 40,083.54 points, while the Nifty ended 66.90 points or 0.55 per cent at 12,021.65 points.
"Intensified trade tensions and the prediction of further delay of the onset of monsoon pushed investors to book profits," Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services said.
"However, expectation of further cut in interest rate by the RBI, falling oil prices and higher spending will improve the earnings outlook."
The Reserve Bank of India is expected to lower its key lending rates, in a meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee on June 6 (Thursday).
The MPC meeting in April lowered its key lending rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 6 per cent. Before that, in February, the MPC had voted to lower the repo rate by 25 bps to 6.25 per cent.
"Indian markets underwent a much-awaited correction due to profit taking ahead of the RBI's policy decision on the next trading day. Losses in IT (due to Nasdaq weakness), Oil and Gas (due to GST notices) offset gains in other sectoral indices," Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities, said.
"Fitch downgrade of ICICI Bank and Axis Bank raised fears of further such action on other 'Financials'. Technically, while the Nifty has corrected today (on Tuesday), the index remains in a firm uptrend. Further upsides are likely once the immediate resistance of 12,095 is taken out. Crucial supports to watch for any weakness are at 12,006-11,968."
In terms of investment, both foreign and domestic institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks. FIIs off-loaded stocks worth Rs 416.08 crore, while DIIs sold stocks to the tune of Rs 355.42 crore.