Domestic stock markets gave up initial gains to end lower on Thursday amid a selloff in financial stocks, following a rally that continued for six straight days pushing the S&P BSE Sensex index more than 11 per cent higher. The Sensex fell 598.9 points from an intraday high of 34,310.14 registered in morning, to hit 33,711.24 on the downside in afternoon. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark briefly slid below the 10,000 mark, hitting 9,944.25 at the weakest level of the day, having risen to as high as 10,123.85 earlier. Sharp losses in banking and financial services shares outweighed gains in IT, pharma and metal counters.
The Sensex ended 128.84 points - or 0.38 per cent - lower at 33,980.70 and the Nifty settled at 10,029.10, down 32.45 points - or 0.32 per cent - from its previous close.
HDFC, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were the top drags on the Sensex.
In the past six sessions, the Sensex had risen 11.44 per cent - or 3,500.24 points.
"Having seen such a breathtaking move in the past few sessions, the market is essentially pausing to catch its breath," said Ajay Bodke, CEO and chief portfolio manager (portfolio management services) at Prabhudas Lilladher.
"The market always looks 6-12 months down the line. If the revival in aggregate demand is not as strong as the market believes it to be, it is vulnerable to a sharp correction."
Seven of 11 sector gauges compiled by National Stock Exchange ended higher led by Nifty Media index's over 4 per cent gain. Nifty Pharma, IT and Metal indexes also rose 1-2 per cent each.
On the other hand, Nifty Private Bank and Nifty Bank indexes slumped 3 per cent and 2.6 per cent each respectively after the Supreme Court asked the Finance Ministry to clarify its stand on whether interest rate could be waived and interest on interest could be charged for the moratorium period.
Mid- and small-cap shares ended little changed as both the indexes ended on a flat note.
Asian Paints was to Nifty loser, the stock dropped 4.6 per cent to close at Rs 1,637. Bajaj Finance, HDFC, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, Larsen & Toubro, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank also fell between 2.4-4 per cent.
On the flipside, Vedanta was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 8 per cent to close at Rs 104.15. Bharti Airtel, Zee Entertainment, Tech Mahindra, Sun Pharma, Wipro, Cipla and HCL Technologies were also among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was neutral as 1,295 stocks closed higher while 1,157 ended lower on the BSE.