The Indian stock market ended notably lower, extending previous session's losses, with weak industrial output data and a report showing a surge in wholesale price inflation prompting investors to press sales at several counters.
Even as the broad market traded weak, stocks from information technology sector had a good outing thanks to better than expected results from bellwether Infosys.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which plunged to 22,416.24, ended at 22,484.93, recording a loss of 144.03 points or 0.64%. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed with a loss of 43.20 points or 0.64% at 6733.10, after declining to 6711.75.
Bank, realty and metal stocks declined sharply. Mirroring their decline, the BSE Bankex, Realty and Metal indices tumbled 2% - 2.8%. Consumer durables, automobile and power stocks too mostly closed weak. Oil, pharmaceuticals and FMCG stocks ended on a mixed note, while IT stocks had a good outing.
Hindalco, Axis Bank, HDFC and Sesa Sterlite lost 3% - 4.5%. Tata Steel, Tata Motors and BHEL ended lower by 2% - 2.8%.
HDFC Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Power, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and GAIL India lost 1% - 2%. ITC, Maruti Suzuki and Reliance Industries ended modestly lower.
DLF lost over 6%. Jindal Steel & Power ended lower by about 4.5%. IDFC, Punjab National Bank, ACC, Kotak Bank, Ultra Tech Cement, Asian Paints, Ambuja Cements, NMDC and IndusInd Bank also declined sharply.
Infosys ended higher by about 1% despite paring most of its gains. Infosys announced that it posted a net profit of Rs 2992 crore for the quarter ended March 2014, up 4% from the quarter ended December 2013. However, the company's revenues declined 1.15% to Rs 12,875 crore for the quarter ended March 2014, from the previous quarter.
Infosys expects its consolidated revenues to grow 5.6% - 7.6% for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2015. In dollar terms the company expects its consolidated revenues to grow 7% - 9% for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2015.
Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro gained 4.2% and 4%, respectively. Tech Mahindra and HCL Technologies also ended notably higher.
United Spirits jumped nearly 12%. The stock zoomed to Rs 2940.80 earlier in the day after Diageo Plc made an offer to acquire an additional 26% stake in United Spirits at price of Rs 3,030. Diageo currently holds 28.8% in United Spirits. United Breweries (Holdings) Limited shares are up more than 18%.
Hero Motocorp moved up by 2.4%. Hindustan Unilever closed 0.9% up. NTPC, Bharti Airtel and Cairn India edged up marginally.
On the economic front, the data released by the government after trading hours on Friday (11 April 2014) showed that the country's industrial production declined unexpectedly by 1.9% in February due to the weakness in manufacturing sector. Analysts were expecting February industrial output to see a nearly 1%.
Manufacturing output declined 3.7% in February (year-on-year), while electricity and mining sectors rose 11.5% and 1.4%, respectively.
Investors will be looking ahead to the data on inflation based on the wholesale price index.
According to the data released by the government on Monday, wholesale prices-based inflation accelerated to a three-month high of 5.70% in March, driven up by increases in food and fuel costs. In February, wholesale prices rose 4.68%, their slowest pace in nine months. Food prices rose 9.90% year-on-year last month, faster than an annual rise of 8.12% in February.
The government revised the reading for January WPI inflation to 5.17% from 5.05% earlier.