Despite opening on a firm note, the Indian stock market ended the day on the negative side today, as investors indulged in some profit taking as the session progressed, choosing to wait for more clear signals.
With the reporting season about to start and not many fresh triggers from the global front to trigger any strong buying, traders turned cautious post noon. Worries about the economy following the Prime Minister's warning that the country's economic growth could fall below 6% in the current year, appeared to have weighed on sentiment to a notable extent.
FMCG, consumer durables, metal and capital goods stocks were among the prominent losers. Power, realty and information technology stocks found some support early on, but wilted under pressure past mid afternoon. Select bank, healthcare, oil and automobile stocks closed notably higher.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which rose to 19,824.06 in early trades, ended the day with a loss of 75.93 points or 0.38% at 19,666.59, nearly 40 points off the day's low of 19,627.16.
The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange settled at 5971.50, recording a loss of 30.20 pooints or 0.5%. The index touched a high of 6020.10 and a low of 5958.45 during the day.
BHEL and Tata Steel, among the most prominent losers in the Sensex, ended lower by 2.7% and 2.5%, respectively. Bajaj Auto and ITC lost nearly 2%.
Tata Consultancy Services ended 1.7% down. Jindal Steel & Power, Hero Motocorp and Sterlite Industries lost around 1.5%. HDFC, Larsen & Toubro, Hindustan Unilever, Hindalco, Tata power, Infosys and HDFC Bank also closed weak.
Ambuja Cements, Ultratech Cement, DLF, Bank of Baroda, Sesa Goa, ACC, Jaiprakash Associates, IDFC, Reliance Infrastructure, Lupin, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank, Grasim Industries and Power Grid Corporation ended with sharp to moderate losses.
Tata Motors moved up by over 4%, with a rating upgrade triggering some hectic buying at the counter. Coal India gained 1.5% on reports the government is initiating some restructuring proposals for the firm. GAIL India, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, State Bank of India, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, BPCL, Mahindra & Mahindra and Reliance Industries also closed on a firm note.
The market breadth was slightly negative. Out of 3101 stocks traded on BSE, 1575 stocks declined. 1395 stocks moved up and 131 stocks ended flat.