After a positive start and a subsequent fall from higher levels, the market rebounded a bit, but faltered again in the final hour and ended on a weak note on Monday.
Due to a lack of fresh triggers, stocks failed to hold at higher levels. Investors appeared keen on taking profits, amid doubts about the near term outlook for the market due to slowing economic growth. A weak trend in European markets and a fall in base metal prices too contributed to the sluggish trend in afternoon trades today.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which advanced to 19,902.60 in early trades, ended the day with a loss of 30 points or 0.15% at 19,751.19, off the day's low of 19,728.21. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5987.25, recording a loss of 11.65 points or 0.19%. The Nifty touched a high of 6038.50 and a low of 5981.25 during the day.
PSU, healhcare, power, oil and metal stocks mostly ended notably lower. Capital goods, bank and realty stocks too closed on a weak note. FMCG and information technology stocks ended mixed. Automobile stocks saw some brisk buying early on, but mostly ended off their highs.
BHEL ended 2.7% down, extending recent losses, due to weak results. Cipla, State Bank of India, Tata Power, ONGC and Sterlite Industries ended lower by 2% - 2.6%.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories lost almost 2%. Tata Steel, Coal India, GAIL India, Maruti Suzuki, NTPC, Reliance Industries and ITC lost 0.7% - 1.4%.
Bank of Baroda, the most prominent loser in the Nifty index, went down by 7.7%, due to a sharp decline in net profit for the quarter ended 31 December 2012. IDFC lost around 5.3%. Jaiprakash Associates ended 4.8% down and Ranbaxy Laboratories closed lower by 3.6%.
Lupin, Axis Bank, Punjab National Bank, Sesa Goa, ACC, BPCL, Ambuja Cements, Grasim Industries and HCL Technologies declined by 1% - 2.2%.
Tata Motors ended with a strong gain of 3.5% thanks to fairly impressive sales data. Ultratech Cement moved up by 3.4%. HDFC (2.7%), Asian Paints (2.6%) and DLF (up nearly 2%) also closed on a high note.
Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank, Jindal Steel & Power, Bharti Airtel, Power Grid Corporation, Kotak Bank, Hero Motocorp and Wipro also posted notable gains.
Berger Paints, J&K Bank, IL&FS Transportaion Networks and Adani Enterprises saw some brisk buying thanks to impressive results. Jubilant Foodworks, Motherson Sumi and Indian Bank declined on disappointing quarterly numbers.
The market breadth was weak as several midcap and smallcap stocks declined on selling pressure. Out of 3005 stocks traded on BSE, 1308 stocks declined. 886 stocks moved up and 811 stocks ended little changed from their previous closing levels.