The rupee fell to a record low against the U.S. dollar, declining to 68.867 a dollar this afternoon amid increasing speculation that the US Federal Reserve will start hiking interest rates soon, and on sustained selling by foreign investors following the government's demonetisation move.
The rupee has been sliding for the fifth successive session against the greenback.
The rupee's weakness has triggered some strong buying in a few IT majors today, even as the broad market trades notably lower on weak global cues and lingering concerns about near term economic impact of the government's demonetization move.
Automobile, bank, oil, healthcare, power and realty stocks are mostly weak. Select stocks from capital goods and FMCG sectors are finding modest support.
The Sensex is down 211.20 points or 0.8% at 25,840.63. The Nifty50 is down 68.90 points or 0.87% at 7964.80.
Tata Motors, Eicher Motors, Kotak Bank, NTPC, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries are down 2% 4%. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Axis Bank, GAIL India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Adani Ports, Aurobindo Pharma and Lupin are down 1.5% - 2%.
HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Hindustan Unilever, Idea Cellular, Tata Steel and ITC are also notably lower.
IT majors Tata Consultancy Services, Tech Mahindra and Infosys are up 1.5% - 2%. Wipro is gaining 1.1% and HCL Technologies is up 0.5%.
Metal stock Hindalco is gaining 2.6%. Bank of Baroda, Bajaj Auto, Power Grid Corporation, UltraTech Cement, ACC and State Bank of India are up 0.4% - 1.4%.