Stocks drifted lower in early trades on the Indian bourses on Wednesday, with investors pressing sales, tracking weak cues from Asian markets. Though Wall Street ended on a firm note overnight, caution ahead of the outcome of a crucial US Federal Reserve meet appears to be prompting investors to refrain from any significant buying in opening trades.
Oil, PSU, automobile and information technology stocks are trading weak. Bank, power and FMCG stocks are also mostly subdued. Select healthcare, metal, realty and capital goods stocks have surged higher.
The BSE benchmark Sensex is down 85.85 points or 0.45% at 19,137.43 at present. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is down with a loss of 18.80 points or 0.32% at 5794.80.
NTPC, down 1.8% at Rs 144.40, is the most prominent loser in the Sensex. ONGC is trading 1.2% down at Rs 304. Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Coal India, ICICI Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Infosys, Maruti Suzuki and ITC are trading lower by 0.4% - 1%.
BPCL, Ultratech Cement, Grasim Industries, Power Grid Corporation and Axis Bank are also trading weak.
IDFC is up more than 2% at Rs 145.70. Jindal Steel & Power is up nearly 2% and Bharti Airtel is up 1.2%. BHEL moved to Rs 182.30, gaining nearly a percent following an announcement from the company that it as bagged a contract worth Rs 450 crore for renovation and modernisation of a 210 MW thermal unit in Maharashtra.
Reliance Infrastructure, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Hero Motocorp, Sesa Goa, Kotak Bank, Ambuja Cements, ACC, Lupin, GAIL India, Punjab National Bank and Tata Steel are also trading notably higher.
Reliance Communications (up nearly 3% at Rs 127.70) has rallied sharply on strong volumes. On the National Stock Exchange, nearly 8.5 million shares have changed hands so far at the Reliance Communications counter this morning.