It was a rather lackluster final session for the calendar year 2012 for the Indian stock market on Monday, with investors mostly staying away on the sidelines, choosing to wait for some clear signals.
The start was a bit listless with stocks swinging between gains and losses, amid weak global cues. And the sluggish trend continues right through the day, with even stocks with strong fundamentals failing to find any worthwhile support.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which surged to 19,491.58 in early trades, but retreated soon, ended the day with a loss of 18.13 points or 0.09% at 19,426.71, around 20 points off the day's low. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5905.10, recording a loss of 3.25 points or 0.06%. The Nifty touched a high of 5919 and a low of 5897.15 during the session.
Besides lingering concerns about the looming U.S. fiscal cliff, worries about the near term outlook for the Indian economy too weighed on sentiment and prompted investors keep a low profile.
Realty stocks started off on a firm note and mostly remained steady right through. Select consumer durables, power, automobile and PSU stocks edged higher. A few stocks from the metal space posted notable gains.
Bank, oil, healthcare and information technology stocks mostly ended flat. FMCG and capital goods stocks were a bit weak. While midcap stocks were subdued, some smallcap stocks moved up sharply.
Punjab National Bank, DLF, ACC, Tata Power, GAIL India, Power Grid Corporation, BPCL, Tata Motors, Grasim Industries and Bank of Baroda closed with solid gains.
HCL Technologies, ITC, Tata Consultancy Services, IDFC, Larsen & Toubro, HDFC, Maruti Suzuki, Axis Bank, Cairn India and Bharti Airtel ended notably lower.
Chettinad Cements, Pipavav Defence, IOB, Syndicate Bank, Tecpro Systems and GMR Infrastructure saw some buying on stock specific news.
The market breadth was marginally positive. Out of 3013 stocks traded on BSE, 1591 stocks moved up. 1295 stocks declined and 127 stocks ended flat.