The market, which opened weak on cues from Asian peers, continues to languish in negative territory due to sustained selling in key stocks from oil, FMCG, information technology and banking sectors.
Consumer durables stocks are in demand, thanks largely to impressive results posted by Titan Industries. Automobile stocks are moving higher. Select healthcare, power and realty stocks are also trading firm.
The Sensex is down 10.18 points or 0.06% at 10,495.20, while the Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is down 4.15 points or 0.07% at 5615.55.
In the currency market, the rupee rose 8 paise to 53.72 against the American dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange on sustained dollar selling by exporters. On Wednesday, the rupee had ended at 53.80 against the greenback, recording a gain of 18 paise.
Titan Industries is up nearly 7% at Rs 277. TTK Prestige, C Mahendra Exports, Videocon Industries and Whirlpool are trading higher by 2% - 3%. Rajesh Exports is up by around 1.2%, while Blue Star and Gitanjali Gems are up marginally. Bajaj Electricals is trading flat, while VIP Industries is trading sharply lower.
Among automobile stocks, Hero Motocorp is up 2.2% and Tata Motors is trading stronger by 3.3%, while Bajaj Auto and Maruti Suzuki are up 1% and 1.4%, respectively. Mahindra & Mahindra is trading flat and Ashok Leyland is down marginally.
Among the stocks in the Healthcare index, Aurobindo Pharma is up nearly 5% and Biocon is trading 2.4% up, while Cadila Healthcare, Cipla, IPCA Laboratories, Opto Circuits and Ranbaxy Laboratories are trading higher by 1% - 2%. Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Wockhardt are up with modest gains, while Sun Pharmaceuticals is slightly weak.
Wipro is trading 3.6% up. The company has announced that it will fold all its non-IT businesses into a new company and focus exclusively on information technology, sparking a more than 3% rally in its shares in Mumbai. The new unlisted firm, known as Wipro Enterprises Ltd, will include Wipro's consumer care, medical diagnostics and infrastructure units, Wipro said in a statement to the stock exchanges on Thursday.
Separation of its non-core businesses will allow Wipro to focus on IT, where it competes with Infosys Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. In FY12, Wipro's IT business accounted for 94% of its operating profit, the company said.
Power Grid Corporation is trading 2.3% up. The company has posted a profit after tax of Rs. 11258.90 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 as compared to Rs. 7087.40 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011. Total income increased from Rs. 24585.50 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 to Rs. 32427.50 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.
Bharti Airtel, Reliance Infrastructure, Jaiprakash Associates, Kotak Bank, ACC and Axis Bank are up with sharp to moderate gains.
Hindustan Unilever and ITC, the FMCG heavyweights, are down 2.5% and 1.6%, respectively. Jindal Steel & Power, Hindalco, Ambuja Cements, ONGC, Reliance Industries, Infosys, Cairn India, Grasim Industries and Tata Power are down 0.6% - 1.2% now.
Hexaware Technologies Ltd shares are down more than a percent at Rs 112. The company has posted profit after tax of Rs. 712.961 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 as compared to Rs. 554.667 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.
Oracle Financial Services is trading at Rs 2906, up marginally from its previous closing price. The company has posted a net profit of Rs. 1795.10 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 as compared to Rs. 1654.20 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.
According to a survey, India'a manufacturing growth inched up in October from September's 10-month low, supported by a pick up in new orders and an easing of price pressures. The HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers' index, which gauges the business activity of India's factories but not its utilities, nudged up to 52.9 in October from 52.8 in September.
The new orders sub-index, an indicator of future output, edged up to 54.9 last month from 54.4 in September while export orders grew for the second straight month albeit at a slightly slower pace.
Data released last month showed manufacturing rose 2.9% in August from a year earlier after contracting 0.4% in the previous month. Overall output at factories, mines and utilities rose an annual 2.7%.