The market started off on a listless, albeit positive note, but lost its way and slipped a bit deep down into the red post noon following the adjournment of the Lok Sabha due to uproar over the FDI in retail.
Stocks did find some support amid high volatility towards the fag end of the session, but the key indices Sensex and Nifty still ended the day in negative territory, recording marginal losses.
A steady trend in Asian markets on the back of recent encouraging economic data from China aided sentiment at the start, but the mood soon turned cautious amid lingering concerns about the near term outlook for the domestic economy.
The Sensex, which declined to 18,402.38, sliding more than 150 points from the day's high of 18,556.50, ended the day with a loss of 10.77 points or 0.06% at 18,506.57. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange settled at 5626.60, down 1.15 points of 0.02% from its previous closing mark. The Nifty touched a high of 5637.75 and a low of 5593.55 during the day.
Realty, PSU, healthcare and bank stocks drifted lower, despite finding some support during the course of the session. Metal and FMCG stocks too mostly ended on a subdued note. Information technology, power and capital goods stocks ended mixed. A few stocks from automobile and oil sectors posted impressive gains.
Ranbaxy Laboratories ended 3.2% down on sustained selling at the counter. NTPC ended lower by around 2.8%. GAIL India and Grasim Industries closed lower by about 2.1%.
Cipla, BPCL, Wipro, Reliance Infrastructure, Jaiprakash Associates, ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, Lupin, ACC, ITC, Sesa Goa, Kotak Bank, State Bank of India, Bharati Airtel and DLF also closed notably lower.
Asian Paints surged nearly 2%. BHEL and HCL Technologies closed higher by over 1.5%. Hero Motocorp, Tata Motors, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Power Grid Corporation, Reliance Industries, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Power, Tata Consultancy Services, Siemens, HDFC, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and IDFC closed on a firm note.
Hindustan Copper tumbled 20% to Rs 212.95 on huge volumes following the government fixing the floor price for its stake sale offer at a deep discount to the ruling market price. On NSE, over 7.8 million shares were traded at the Hindustan Copper counter.
Jet Airways jumped 17% on strong volumes on reports that a Hong Kong-based investment company has taken a huge position in the stock. Karnataka Bank vaulted more than 10% on impressive volumes. United Spirits ended 2.5% up, and was among the most actively traded securities on Friday.