The benchmark Sensex on Thursday gave up initial gains to end lower by 252 points, logging its biggest drop since November 21, on late profit-taking in bluechips, including ITC, L&T, ICICI Bank and RIL, amid mixed global cues after disappointing Chinese data.
Selling was widespread with realty, capital goods, power and banking being among the worst hit. The IT sector, which earns most revenues in dollar, escaped unscathed as the rupee slipped below the 62-mark against the US currency.
Falling for the second day in a row this calendar year, the Sensex closed at 20,888.33, down 252.15 points, or 1.19% after surging about 190 points intra-day to touch 21,331.32. Yesterday, it had slipped by 30.20 points.
On November 21, 2013, the Sensex had slid 406.08 points.
Brokers said investors were seen booking profits after Sensex rose by around 9 per cent in 2013 as recent economic data brought back the haze over domestic outlook, while global growth indicators still appear shaky.
Data yesterday showed China's Purchasing Managers' Index slipped to a 4-month low in December, while another report today indicated that manufacturing rose at a slow pace.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty dropped by 80.50 points, or 1.28%, to end at 6,221.15, after climbing to 6,358.30 at the outset.
Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, closed at 12,435.29, down 142.23 points.
In the 30-scrip Sensex, 25 stocks fell while five shares, including TCS, Infosys and Sun Pharma, ended in the green.
The BSE Realty sector index fell the most by losing 3.07%, followed by Capital Goods index (2.84%), Power index (2.09%) and Banking index (1.82%).
In Asia, Kospi and Shanghai Composite fell while Nikkei, Strait Times and Hang Seng rose. However, FTSE, CAC and DAX indices in Europe were trading lower in afternoon trade.