MUMBAI The BSE Sensex and Nifty fell on Monday, retreating from 19-month highs, as recent outperformers such as HDFC Bank (HDBK.NS) were hit by profit-taking on worries over parliament's impending vote on foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.
However, shares in organised retailers such as Pantaloon Retail India Ltd PART.NS rose on speculation over the outcome of Tuesday's vote.
Dealers say the probability of a December rally will increase if the vote goes in favour of the ruling Congress-led alliance. If not, the newfound optimism around recently announced reform measures is seen petering down.
"If the FDI vote goes through, it will trigger another round of rally in the markets," said V.K. Vijayakumar, investment strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas.
If FDI in retail is cleared then the government will be in a position to initiate a large number of other reforms, including insurance and pension, he added.
The BSE index fell 0.18 percent, or 34.58 points, to end at 19,305.32 after gaining 4.5 percent in the previous four sessions.
The broader NSE index fell 0.15 percent, or 8.90 points, to end at 5,870.95, finding resistance near the psychologically important 5,900 level.
HDFC Bank Ltd fell 2.4 percent on profit-taking after its shares rose 6.35 percent in the previous three sessions.
Among other recent outperformers, telecoms operator Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS) also fell 1.8 percent after gaining 8.6 percent in the previous three sessions.
Stocks considered defensive such as ITC Ltd (ITC.NS) fell as traders pared positions in favour of other sectors.
ITC fell 0.8 percent, while Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HLL.NS) ended 0.3 percent lower.
Among stocks that gained, retailer Pantaloon gained 9.5 percent ahead of the vote in parliament.
Shares in India's Jet Airways (JET.NS) rose 5.2 percent after a report in Mint newspaper said the airline will soon seek regulatory approval to tweak its ownership pattern to facilitate a stake sale to Etihad Airways.
Shares in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MRTI.NS), India's largest car maker, rose 1.1 percent after November sales grew 12.5 percent on year to 103,200 units, sustaining the recovery in sales witnessed in October.
Utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra (MAHM.NS) also rose 1.1 percent after the company reported an 18 percent rise in November sales.
(Additional reporting by Manoj Dharra; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)