After a positive start and a subsequent retreat that resulted in a spell in negative territory, the Sensex has regained some lost ground and is currently trading flat amid stock specific activity.
Consumer durables, power and automobile stocks are finding some support, while realty, capital goods, realty and metal stocks are mostly trading flat. Bank and pharmaceuticals stocks are a bit subdued and are seen swinging between gains and losses. Pharmaceuticals and FMCG stocks are also subdued, while oil stocks are trading weak.
At 17,436, the Sensex is now up 6.44 points or 0.04% from its previous close. Earlier, after advancing to 17,509.99, the barometer had declined to 17,349.57. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is up 13 points or 0.25% at 5271.45, nearly 20 points off the day's low of 5243.15.
Jindal Steel is trading lower by 1.7%. Tata Motors, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Tata Power, Wipro, Tata Steel, Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and ONGC are down 0.5% - 1.2%.
Piramal Healthcare is down nearly 5%. Jain Irrigation Systems, Shriram Transport Finance, Opto Circuits, Zee Entertainment, HDIL, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Divi's Laboratories, Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Indraprastha Gas, Ambuja Cements and Emami are also trading notably lower.
Bajaj Auto is trading nearly 3% up on strong buying at the counter. Cipla, NTPC, Maruti Suzuki and BHEL are up 1% - 1.6%. Hindalco, State Bank of India, HDFC, Bharti Airtel and Sterlite Industries are also trading firm, albeit with less pronounced gains.
Aurobindo Pharma, up more than 6.5%, is the top gainer among BSE 'A' Group stocks. Muthoot Finance has moved up by nearly 4%. Godrej Industries, Petronet LNG, Oracle Financial Services, Adani Power, Chambal Fertilizers & Chemicals, IRB Infrastructure, Gujarat Fluorochemicals, IPCA Laboratories, JP Power, Motherson Sumi and Eicher Motors are all trading higher by 2% - 3.5%.
Bilcare jumped more than 5% on reports that United Drug has completed the acquisition of the UK and US clinical services of Bilcare Global Clinical Supplies from the company.
According to the data released by the trade ministry, India's annual exports fell 14.8% to $22.4 billion in July, while imports fell 7.6% to $37.9 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $15.5 billion.
Exports have fallen from year-earlier levels in four out of the last five months. Exports between April and July fell 5.1% on year to $97.7 billion, the statement added. Oil imports were down 5.5% to $12.2 billion in July.
After strong growth for much of last year, India's overseas sales have slumped, due largely to weak demand in the major export destinations such as the United States and Europe.