"The Nifty range will be capped at 5,400 unless we have a decisive breakout. The gap area between 5,220-5,260 is a strong support," independent analyst Sarvendra Srivastava said.
Indian stocks tracked weakness in Asian markets, which hit a 4-week low. Japan's industrial output unexpectedly fell in July while manufacturing activity in August contracted to the lowest level in 16 months. The Nikkei 225 average traded with over 1 per cent losses.
Global stocks saw gains earlier this month on hopes of monetary easing in the US and Eurozone. However, some of that optimism has now faded and markets have given up gains ahead of the crucial Fed speech at Jackson Hole later today.
Indian markets have priced in close to 5 per cent GDP growth in the first quarter ending June 2012. However, analysts have not ruled out a sub-5 per cent print in which case markets may see a selloff. A drastically low GDP may force the Reserve Bank to cut rates though, which may be good news for rate sensitive stocks.
Barring healthcare stocks, which are defensive bets in a risk off environment, all other groups of stocks traded lower on the BSE.
On the Nifty, 33 of the 50 stocks traded lower. State run power producer NTPC declined 1.5 per cent to top the list of losers on the Nifty. Coal India declined 1.4 per cent ahead of the board meet, which will decide on the fuel supply agreement with power producers.
Mortgage lender HDFC was the top Nifty gainer, up 0.8 per cent, followed by Grasim and drug maker Cipla.
Among other stocks, state run telco MTNL was the top traded counter. The stock traded 5 per cent lower following up with 13 per cent fall yesterday.
(With inputs from Thomson Reuters)