Despite positive global cues, the Indian stock market ended notably lower on Wednesday, with weak wholesale price inflation data, some disappointing quarterly results and concerns about likely pull out by foreign investors amid prospects of a hike in U.S. interest rates sometime soon rendering the mood bearish.
After a very brief spell in positive territory, the Sensex retreated, then slipped deeper into the red around mid afternoon, and eventually ended notably lower despite recovering some lost ground. The index ended down 183.75 points or 0.65% at 28,155.56, after scaling a low of 28,102.23. The Nifty50, which declined to 8712.85 from the day's high of 8807.90, ended at 8724.70, losing 67.60 points or 0.77%.
In the forex market, the rupee was trading at 66.93 against the U.S. dollar around late afternoon, not much changed from its previous close of 66.92.
Automobile and realty stocks were among the major losers. Power, capital goods, oil, consumer durables, metal and healthcare stocks too mostly ended notably lower. FMCG, information technology and bank stocks ended on a mixed note.
Among automobile stocks, Tata Motors declined 10.3% after the company reported a sharp 96% decline in net profit for the quarter ended December 2016 quarter, compared to year-ago quarter. Tata Motors DVR, a Nifty50 constituent, also ended sharply lower.
Eicher Motors declined 2.3%, Hero Motocorp ended lower by about 2% and Maruti Suzuki declined 1.3%. Mahindra & Mahindra edged down marginally, while Bajaj Auto and Ashok Leyland posted modest gains.
Realty stock DLF shed nearly 7% on weak results. HDIL also ended nearly 7% down. Indiabulls Real Estate, Oberoi Realty, Godrej Properties and Phoenix also ended notably lower.
In the healthcare space, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries declined 4.2%. Aurobindo Pharma, Dishman Pharma, Jubilant LifeSciences, Natco Pharma and Unichem Laboratories shed 2.6% - 3.5%. Divi's Laboratories, Cadila Healthcare and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals also ended sharply lower, while Dr Reddy's Laboratories ended 1.1% down. Cipla and Lupin declined marginally, while GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals and Piramal Enterprises ended higher.
Among metal stocks, Nalco, Hindustan Zinc, SAIL, Tata Steel, Vedanta and NMDC lost 2% - 4%. Hindalco declined 1.4%. Jindal Steel & Power gained nearly 2% and JSW Steel advanced 1%, while Coal India ended almost unchanged.
In the oil & gas index, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (down 3.7%), BPCL (down 2.4%) and Indian Oil Corporation (down 1.6%) were the prominent losers. Castrol India, Oil India, Petronet LNG and ONGC shed 0.5% - 1% and GAIL India declined marginally. Indraprastha Gas gained 2.8% and Reliance Industries ended 0.25% up.
Capital goods stocks Kalpataru Power Transmission, Sadbhav Engineering, BHEL, Bharat Earth Movers, ABB, Carborundum Universal, Havells India and Crompton Greaves declined 1.8% - 4%. AIA Engineering (2.3%), Greaves Cotton (1.4%) and Bharat Electronics (up nearly 1%) ended on a firm note.
In the banking space, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Federal Bank, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank declined 1% - 3.4%. Kotak Bank and State Bank of India ended moderately lower, while HDFC Bank and Axis Bank edged up marginally.
In the IT space,Tata Consultancy Services and MindTree ended higher. HCL Technologies declined marginally, while Wipro and Infosys ended lower by about 0.5%. Oracle Financial Services, Tech Mahindra and KPIT Technologies ended notably lower.
The market breadth was weak. Out of 2985 stocks traded on BSE, 2147 stocks declined. 688 stocks advanced and 150 stocks ended flat.
Data released by the government on Tuesday showed India's wholesale inflation to have risen at a faster-than-expected pace in January - it rose an annual 5.25% in the month, after rising 3.39% a month earlier - is weighing on sentiment. Weak results from Tata Motors and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries are also contributing to the weakness.