MUMBAI The BSE Sensex fell for a second consecutive session on Thursday as software services exporters such as Infosys were hit by continued worries about the global demand outlook and the impact of the recent rally in the rupee on overseas profits.
The session was volatile because of the expiry of September futures and options contracts at the end of the session.
Analysts continue to expect some more downside as markets consolidate after hitting a 14-month high in September following the slew of reforms announced by the government.
Investors were also on hold ahead of the announcement of the government's borrowing calendar for the second half of the fiscal year ending in March due later on Thursday.
"Market may see some correction in the short-term as it's overbought," said Paras Adenwala, Principal Portfolio Manager at Capital Portfolio Advisors.
However, Adenwala said gains could continue should the government announce additional fiscal or economic reforms.
The BSE Sensex fell 0.28 percent, or 52.67 points, to 18,579.50 points, marking its second day of declines.
Since hitting a 14-month peak of 18,866.87 points on Sept 21, the BSE index has fallen 1.5 percent.
The Nifty fell 0.25 percent, or 13.95 points, to 5,649.50 points.
Technology stocks extended recent falls as investors remain worried about the global outlook, especially when the rupee has strengthened.
Euro zone worries have roared back into focus over the last week as the feel-good factor of recent central bank stimulus has given way to renewed uncertainty over Spain's willingness to submit to a politically painful rescue programme.
Infosys (INFY.NS) fell 1.5 percent, after posting mild declines in each of the two previous sessions. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS.NS) fell 1.1 percent.
Shares in Voltas (VOLT.NS) dropped 6 percent after the company told analysts the air conditioner and cooling products maker was expecting more downside to its margins and revenue growth across its business segments.
Among gainers, UltraTech Cement (ULTC.NS) gained 3.5 percent, while drug maker Lupin (LUPN.NS) added 1.9 percent. Both stocks will replace Steel Authority of India (SAIL.NS) and Sterlite Industries STRL.NS in the Nifty from Friday.
But SAIL fell 4 percent and Sterlite fell 3.3 percent, also underlining the negative sentiment prevailing on the materials sector even as valuations are at multi-year lows.
Fertiliser shares rose on hopes the government would raise subsidised urea prices. Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RSTC.NS) gained 5.7 percent, while Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd (CHMB.NS) gained 4.8 percent.
Sentiment was also helped by a more favorable outlook for winter crops after rainfalls picked up in the late monsoon season.
United Spirits (UNSP.NS) gained 10.2 percent on rising hopes the Indian spirits maker controlled by billionaire Vijay Mallya will clinch a deal to sell a stake to Diageo Plc (DGE.L).
Traders also cited a CLSA sales email to clients in the morning predicting a deal was likely to happen and going through potential scenarios.
Other Mallya group companies also jumped: United Breweries (UBBW.NS) rose 1 percent, United Breweries Holdings (UBHL.NS) rose 1.5 percent, and the debt trapped Kingfisher Airline (KING.NS) rose 8 percent.
(Additional reporting by Manoj Dharra)