The Indian stock market started off on a weak note with investors tracking weak global cues, and despite staging a modest recovery around mid morning, plunged deeper into the red as the session progressed and eventually ended with notable losses today.
Lingering worries about global economic outlook triggered a sell-off in Asian markets this morning and set up a weak start for stocks on the Indian boursers. And the mood remained bearish right through the session as European markets too exhibited weakness. Caution ahead of crucial corporate results too contributed to the market's weak display.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which tumbled to 17,343.55 in early afternoon trade, ended the day with a loss of 129.14 points or 0.74% at 17,391.98.
The broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5275.15, nearly 20 points off the day's low of 5257.75, recording a loss of 41.80 points or 0.79%.
Metal, realty, power, capital goods, automobile and realty stocks mostly ended lower. Bank, healthcare and FMCG stocks too closed weak. Oil stocks found some support midway through the session, but failed to hold at higher levels. Select information technology stocks attracted buyers, due largely on the rupee's slide against the U.S. dollar.
Hero Motocorp, Jindal Steel, Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto and Maruti Suzuki ended lower by 2.2% - 2.6%. Tata Power lost nearly 2%, while Sterlite Industries, Cipla, Wipro, Bharti Airtel and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries lost 1.4% - 1.7%.
HDFC, Larsen & Toubro, GAIL India,BHEL, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, NTPC and ITC also ended notably lower.
Reliance Infrastructure lost over 3.5%. Jaiprakash Associates, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Cairn India, Ambuja Cements and Bank of Baroda drifted down by 2% - 3%.
IDFC, Siemens, Grasim Industries, SAIL, Sesa Goa, Kotak Bank, ACC and HCL Technologies also posted notable losses.
IT heavyweights Tata Consultancy Services (1.1%) and Infosys (down 0.3%) found some support. Realty stock DLF ended higher by a little over 1%. Dr Reddy's Laboratories ended with a modest gains.
JSW Energy, GMR Infrastructure, Chambal Fertilizers & Chemicals, Adani Power, Hindustan Zinc, Lanco Infratech, Indiabulls Real Estate, Adani Enterprises and United Spirits lost 4% - 5%.
Manappuram Finance and Wockhardt moved up sharply. JP Infratech, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Exide Industries, IPCA Laboratories, Ultratech Cement and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation also closed on a firm note.
Engineers India, TVS Motor, Indraprastha Gas and Vakranjee Software moved up on stock specific news.
The market breadth was weak. Out of 2971 stocks traded on BSE, 1772 stocks declined. 1096 stocks posted gains and 103 stocks ended flat.