Markets remained suppressed as profit-taking pushed down stocks from banking, auto, oil and gas sectors.
Both the indices dropped about 0.6% by the end of the day. The BSE Sensex closed 167.37 points lower from its previous close at 24,549.51, while the NSE Nifty fell 41.05 points at its close of 7,318.
The drag was largely on account of BSE-100, mid-cap and small-cap indices that fell 0.68%, 0.66% and 0.45%, respectively. Thursday is the expiry of futures and options series for May. Most players are engaged in rolling over positions to the next series. "This is the F&O expiry week. Profit taking and rollovers to the next series dominated trading sentiment. But the structural bull run will continue," said G Chokkalingam, founder of Equinomics Research and Advisory Services.
Stocks from the IT, pharma and FMCG sectors that were laggards in the recent rally are expected to gain now, he added.
This implies there is no room for short players or bears who have been sidelined in the recent bull rally, market players said.
Most players expect sideways movement this week, unless the new government announces major policy measures that could help the market sentiment strengthen.
"Most news on the government has been factored in. Till then the market is expected to move sideways with an upward bias," said an analyst at a brokerage.
Market players said the next trigger could be the government's budget announcement for the year. However, in a later development during the day, the new government has announced a special investigating team to recommend measures to bring back unaccounted money, either stashed away in foreign bank accounts or held in cash, into the system. The team will be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge and has been instilled after the apex court ordered the government to make efforts in streamlining black money into the financial system.
"The market has got its first booster dose now," said Arun Kejriwal of Kejriwal Research, an advisory firm.
Law minister, Ravishankar Prasad, who also was given the additional charge of telecom portfolio, had earlier in a press briefing mentioned that the government was in the process of restoring investor-confidence. The move of a special investigating team has been well appreciated by industry watchers.
Of the fifty stocks on the NSE Nifty index, 20 gained while 30 declined. Prominent gainers were Jindal Steel (up 5.79%), Tata Chemicals (2.58%), Tata Steel (2.21%), Infosys (1.3%) and Lupin (1.2%), while the losers were Gail (7.6%), Bhel (5.27%), PNB (3.13%), BoB (3.02%) and IDFC (2.89%).