After an early setback and a subsequent smart recovery, the market lost its way again and slipped to lower levels this afternoon, but trimmed down its losses as investors picked up some front line stocks at lower levels in the final hour.
The overnight sharp setback on Wall Street and the resultant sell-off in most of the Asian markets rendered the mood quite bearish at the start, but stocks found some support as the session progressed, with investors tracking a somewhat steady trend on the European bourses.
Activity was mostly stock specific with India Inc second quarter results providing direction. Movements were a bit listless at times, as investors chose to exit some heavyweight counters at small rallies.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to 18,736.45, ended the day with a loss of 56.15 points or 0.3% at 18,846.26. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5738.75, more than 40 points off the day's low of 5693.95, netting a loss of 21.35 points or 0.37%.
Capital goods stocks traded weak almost right through the session. Pharmaceuticals, power and oil stocks too were mostly subdued. Bank, information technology and metal stocks found support at lower levels. FMCG stocks ended on a mixed note, while automobile and realty stocks had a good outing. Telecom stocks attacted buyers following the Union Cabinet approving levy of one-time spectrum charge on all existing telecom operators.
Tata Power ended lower by 2.1% with weak quarterly results hurting the stock once again. Larsen & Toubro lost around 2%. GAIL India ended nearly 2% down. ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Hero Motocorp, Jindal Steel & Power, Infosys, Cipla, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Reliance Industries, ONGC and HDFC also closed weak.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries declined on weak results. IDFC, Reliance Infrastructure, Bank of Baroda, Grasim Industries, Siemens, Lupin, Axis Bank and Jaiprakash Associates ended with sharp to moderate losses.
Tata Motors ended stronger by over 5.5% thanks to impressive quarterly results. Bharti Airtel mvoed up by over 2%. Wipro, Asian Paints, State Bank of India, DLF, Sesa Goa, Tata Steel and HCL Technologies also closed on a positive note.
United Spirits and United Breweries moved up sharply amid reports that top officials of United Spirits Limited are likely to meet Diageo on Thursday to continue discussing a potential stake sale.
NMDFC, Astrazenca Pharma and Lakshmi Vilas Bank drifted lower on weak results. Emami and Radico Khaitan rallied on impressive quarterly numbers.