After bouncing back strongly from lower levels and trading in positive territory for over four hours, the market faltered and slipped into the negative zone today, with investors turning cautious once again and pressing sales at several counters.
A weak start in European markets and worries about near term growth outlook appear to be weighing on sentiment and prompting investors to lighten commitments.
The Sensex, which rose to 19,082.29 earlier this afternoon, is now down 89.90 points or 0.48% at 18,794.29. The Nifty is down 41.20 points or 0.7% at 5653.20, well off the day's high of 5757.75.
Realty stocks have declined sharply, dragging the Realty index down by as much as 2.8%. Automobile, power and capital goods stocks are the other major losers.
PSU, oil and metal stocks have also lost notable ground. Healthcare stocks, which were doing fairly well earlier in the day, are drifting lower now. FMCG and bank stocks have given up their gains, while select information technology and consumer durables stocks are holding on in positive territory.
Reliance Infrastructure has plunged more than 6%. Jaiprakash Associates, Bank of Baroda, Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto are down 4.5% - 6%.
Ambuja Cements, Punjab National Bank, Tata Power, DLF, IDFC, Siemens, Maruti Suzuki, HDFC Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Cairn India, Hindalco, BPCL, Tata Steel, ONGC, Hero Motocorp, Hindustan Unilever and ACC are also down sharply now.
Bharti Airtel is trading firm with a strong gain of 6.3%. ICICI Bank is also trading sharply higher, gaining 3.2%. HDFC is up 2.8%. Axis Bank, Wipro, Jindal Steel & Power and Ultratech Cement are up with modest gains, while Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services are up marginally.