The market, which retreated from higher levels around noon, rallied smartly on some brisk buying at several front line counters in early afternoon trade, but has faltered and slipped into negative territory now, following a fresh round of selling in some heavyweight stocks.
The Sensex, which rose to 19,983.22 earlier this afternoon, tumbled to 19,783.88 a little while ago and is now down 51 points or 0.26% at 19,800.23. The Nifty is down 23.75 points or 0.4% at 5931.50, nearly 60 points off the day's high of 5989.80.
Bank stocks are reeling under selling pressure for the second successive day following the central bank announcing a slew of measures to tighten liquidity. Mirroring their fall, the BSE Bankex is now down as much as 2.2%.
Metal stocks are also mostly down with sharp losses. Stocks from automobile and PSU sections too are trading weak. Realty, healthcare and capital goods stocks are trading mixed. Power, consumer durables,IT and oil stocks are finding good support. FMCG stocks are outperforming the market.
Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Hindalco, Tata Motors, Bharti Airtel and Coal India are down 2% - 4%.
State Bank of India, Jindal Steel & Power, ONGC, HDFC, Larsen & Toubro, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and GAIL India are also trading weak.
FMCG majors Hindustan Unilever (5%) and ITC (2.3%) are up sharply. NTPC, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services and Reliance Industries are trading higher by 1.2% - 2%. Tata Power, Cipla, Infosys and Hero Motocorp are up with modest gains.
Apollo Tyres, Indraprastha Gas, Dabur India, MCX, Exide Industries, Asian Paints, Colgate Palmolive, Pidilite Industries, Bata India, Emami, Titan Industries, Shree Cement and Britannia Industries are up 2% - 4.5%.
Union Bank of India is down more than 9%. Oriental Bank of Commerce, Yes Bank, TTK Prestige, Prestige Estates, JP Infratech, Suzlon Energy, Power Finance Corporation, Gitanjali Gems, Aurobindo Pharma, Muthoot Finance, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Federal Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank are down 3% - 7%.