Sensex closed in the red for the third consecutive day and down by 72 points to close at 20823. Market turned jittery after the global credit rating agency Standard and Poor's has warned that it may lower India's rating to speculative grade from investment grade next year if the government that wins the general election fails to provide a credible plan to reverse the country's low economic growth.
Nifty was down 27 points at 6187.
Sensex touched the 21,000-mark during the mid-session, but fell sharply towards the close of day’s trading, IT stocks extended Wednesday's gains as the rupee hit one-month low against the dollar. Infosys hit 52-week high and closed with a gain of two per cent at Rs 3359.
The total turnover on BSE was up 10 per cent at Rs 2,077 crore (Rs 1,882 crore).
ICICI Bank declined three per cent to Rs 1,051 while HDFC Bank was down 0.47 per cent to Rs 665. Among PSU bank stocks, State Bank of India, Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank closed in the red.
The major gainers were Muthoot Fin (10%), Wockhardt (6%), Mangalore Ref (4%), National Alum (4%), Bajaj Finance (4%) and Tata Steel (4%).
Losers were Neyveli Lignite (-8%), Indiabulls Real Estate (-6%), Shriram Trans (-6%), Dena Bank (-5%) and HPCL (-5%).