The market, which was moving in a tight range, swinging between gains and losses amid cautious trades, has slipped slightly deeper into the red now following a fresh round of selling in some heavyweight stocks.
With no big positive triggers to warrant sustained buying, investors appear quite reluctant to build up positions. With inflation still at uncomfortable levels, a significant change in the central bank's stance with regard to policy rates looks somewhat unlikely.
The Sensex is now down 49 points or 0.28% at 18,26037. The Nifty is down with a loss of 20.60 points or 0.37% at 5553.45.
Consumer durables, metal, capital goods and healthcare stocks are trading weak. Oil, information technology and bank stocks are also a bit subdued. Automobile and realty stocks are finding some support. A few stocks from the FMCG space too have edged up a bit.
Tata Power is trading 2.6% down. Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Steel, Reliance Industries, HDFC, Hindustan Unilever, Larsen & Toubro, Sterlite Industries and Hindalco are trading lower by 1% - 1.6%.
Maruti Suzuki is up with a handsome gain of 4.2% at Rs 1499 thanks to strong buying at the counter. Mahindra & Mahindra has gained around 1.3%, while Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto are trading higher by 1% and 0.8%, respectively.
Bharti Airtel trades firm with a gain of 3.2%. ITC is up 1.7% and NTPC is trading nearly a percent up. ONGC, Cipla, Infosys and HDFC Bank are up with modest gains.
Strides Arcolab, Astrazenca Pharma, Sun TV Network, HDIL, Pipavav Defence, Adani Ports, McLeod Russel, J&K Bank, Hindustan Copper, Emami, Jet Air India, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises and Gitanjali Gems are up 1.3% - 2.6%.
L&T Finance Holdings is down more than 8% on hug volumes, due to profit taking after recent strong gains. Tata Global Beverages is down 5%. REC, JP Power, Hexaware Technologies, Opto Circuits, Biocon, Tech Mahindra, Dish TV India and Allahabad Bank are down 3% - 3.6%.
Indiabulls Financial Services, Lupin, United Spirits, JP Infratech, IDFC, Power Finance Corporation, Mahindra Satyam, Indian Bank, Asian Paints, Godrej Industries and Ashok Leyland are also down with sharp losses.