The market looks headed for a weak close today with investors switching over to the selling mode after three succesive days of gains. Amid concerns about the economic situation in the eurozone and diminishing prospects of the U.S. Federal Reserve coming out with another quantitative easing, global markets are quite subdued today, and have in turn, rendered the mood a bit bearish back home.
Cauton ahead of the long weekend and the reporting season too appear to be contributing to the market's weak display today.
At 17,487, more than 50 points off the day's low of 17,436.60, the Sensex is now down 110.42 points or 0.63% from its previous closing mark. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is down 37.20 points or 0.7% at 5321.30 at present.
Realty, metal and bank stocks, which were among the prominent gainers in the market's recent upmove, are the notable losers today. Automobile stocks too are finding support hard to come by. FMCG and healthcare stocks are drifting down a bit after appearing to move higher.
Information technology, consumer durables and power stocks have given up most of their gains and a few front line stocks from these sector have even drifted down into negative territory.
Jindal Steel, GAIL India and ICICI Bank are trading lower by 2.4% - 3%. Sterlite Industries and Bharti Airtel are down 2.1% and 2%, respectively. DLF, Mahindra & Mahindra, Cipla, Larsen & Toubro, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC, Tata Steel and HDFC Bank are also down with notable losses. Reliance Industries and State Bank of India are down with modest losses.
Jaiprakash Associates is down by around 3.5%. Reliance Communications, Reliance Infrastructure, ACC, Sesa Goa, Kotak Bank, Ambuja Cements and BPCL are down 1% - 2.3%. Axis Bank and SAIL are also trading notably lower.
Shares of PSU power equipment maker BHEL trade higher by around 3% thanks to sustained buying at the counter. Ranbaxy Laboratories has gained over 2%. Maruti Suzuki, which rose to Rs 1337 following a rating upgrade of the stock, has come off that high, but still remains in positive territory at Rs 1321, up nearly a percent over its previous closing price. Morgan Stanley has upgraded the stock to overweight from equal-weight and raised its target price to Rs 1,599 from Rs 1,181.
The Essel Group has reportedly hiked its stake in IVRCL to 12.27% by purchasing an additional 2.08% stake from open market, upping the ante for the battle to gain control over the Hyderabad-based infrastructure firm.
Two Essel Group entities - Asian Satellite Broadcast Private and Jay Properties Private - have acquired 5.56 million shares of IVRCL on April 2 and April 3, according to a disclosure made to the stock exchanges. Last week, Essel Group said it had acquired 10.19% stake in IVRCL through open market purchases. IVRCL is currently trading at Rs 71.80, up 3.5% from its previous closing price.