After a positive start and a subsequent fall, the Indian stock market recovered on Monday, but only to falter again and end lower, as investors treaded cautiously, looking for direction.
Asian markets exhibited a mixed trend and major European markets opened weak, with investors looking ahead to the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting later this week. Fears about an imminent US interest rate hike weighed as well.
The BSE benchmark Sensex ended down 143.63 points or 0.52% at 27,529.97, after scaling a high of 27,803.21 and a low of 27,488.30 intraday. The Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange, which declined to a low of 8506.15 after having advanced to 8615.40 early on in the session, settled at 8520.40, recording a loss of 63 points or 0.73%.
In the forex market, the rupee was trading at 66.81 against the U.S. dollar around late afternoon, down 0.15% from its previous close of 66.72.
Automobile stocks declined following a hike in fuel prices. Capital goods, realty, metal, telecom and consumer discretionary stocks were the othe prominent losers. Healthcare, oil, power and IT stocks too traded weak, while
FMCG, bank and consumer durables stocks turned in a mixed performance. While midcaps were weak, some smallcap stocks posted strong gains.
ICICI Bank ended nearly 7% up after Essar Oil agreed to sell an oil unit to a consortium led by Russia's Rosneft. The Essar Group is expected to use the proceeds of the sale of its oil unit to cear some of its debts to the lenders. ICICI Bank is among the major lenders to Essar Group.
NTPC gained 1.8%. Hindustan Unilever, ONGC, State Bank of India and ITC closed higher by 0.25% - 1%. Tata Consultancy Services, which closed marginally down on BSE, endd 0.7% up on the National Stock Exchange.
Automobile stocks Mahindra & Mahindra (down 3.2%), Hero Motocorp (down 2.2%), Bajaj Auto (down 1.8%), Tata Motors (down 1.5%) and Maruti Suzuki (down 1.4%) ended sharply lower. Eicher Motors ended 3% down, while TVS Motor and Ashok Leyland bucked the trend and moved up by 0.7% and 1.4%, respectively.
Asian Paints, HDFC Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Reliance Industries, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Bharti Airtel, Adani Ports, Power Grid Corporation, HDFC and Lupin declined by 1% - 2%.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises ended 5.7% down. Idea Cellular shed 3.2%, Bosch and Ambuja Cements declined by about 3%, Grasim Industries ended 2.5% down and ACC declined 2.3%.
Aurobindo Pharma, Bank of Baroda, Kotak Bank, BPCL, Tata Power, Tata Motor DVR, BHEL, Yes Bank and IndusInd Bank lost 0.7% - 1.8%.
UltraTech Cement suffered a setback after results but recovered to regain some lost ground and eventually ended with a loss of about 0.7%. The cement maker reported standalone net profit of Rs 601.05 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2016 as compared to Rs 457.41 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. Total income, however, was lower at Rs 6368.13 crore, compared to Rs 6471.87 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
On consolidated basis, Ultratech Group posted a net profit of Rs 614.30 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2016 as compared to Rs 490.39 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2015.
DHFL, DCB Bank and Bharat Seats moved up on strong results. Shares of NIIT Technologies and Crisil were under pressure on disappointing results.
Ujaas Energy, MEP Infrastructure, Granules India and GVK Power saw some strong buying on stock specific news.
The market breadth was negative. Out of 2978 stocks traded on BSE, 1513 stocks declined. 1290 stocks moved up and 175 stocks ended flat.