Equity benchmark indices swung between gains and losses to close 0.4 per cent lower on April 23 as traders seemed reluctant to carry gains into the weekend amid rising COVID-19 cases.
Investors said the surging infections triggered fears about stricter restrictions which may dent business activity in near-term.
The BSE SandP Sensex closed 202 points or 0.42 per cent lower at 47,878 while the Nifty 50 slipped by 65 points or 0.45 per cent to 14,341.
Except for Nifty PSU bank, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the negative terrain with Nifty realty dipping by 1.1 per cent, FMCG by 0.9 per cent IT by 0.8 per cent and auto by 0.5 per cent.
Among stocks, FMCG major Britannia dropped by 2.6 per cent to Rs 3,651.80 per share while Hindustan Unilever fell by 1.7 per cent to Rs 2,309.