Mumbai, May 2 - Snapping a three-day gaining streak, the BSE benchmark Sensex today erased initial gains to end moderately lower by 17 points on profit-booking triggered by a lesser than expected manufacturing data amid a negative opening in the European markets.
The 30-share Sensex, which had had gained 188 points in last three days of gains, fell by 16.90 to 17,301.91. During the day, it had touched a high of 17,432.33.
The 50-share NSE Nifty fell by 9 points, or 0.17 per cent to 5,239.15. It had climbed to 5,279.60 during the session but pared gains later like Sensex.
The falling trend was led by heavy machinery and auto stocks after reports that the manufacturing sector grew slightly in April as power shortages limited the rate of growth.
Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - a measure of factory production - inched up to 54.9 in April, from 54.7 in March, which market players termed as lesser than expected.
The auto sector stocks were also hammered with Tata Motors losing nearly 4 per cent after it posted disappointing vehicle sales in April month amid fears that a falling rupee would increase the sector's costs of imported parts.
The BSE-Auto sector index suffered the most amongst indices by losing 1.72 per cent to 10,462.90 points, followed by BSE-Power index that fell 1.25 per cent to 1,987.36 points.
Major losers of the auto sector were Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, Apollo Tyres, Bajaj Auto and Ashok Leyland.
The heavy machinery losers were Larsen and Toubro, BHEL, Siemens India, ABB and Bharat Earthmovers. PTI