Due to sustained selling in several front line stocks, the market, which opened on a weak note this morning and lost further ground subsequently, continues to languish deep down in negative territory in afternoon trade.
The Sensex, which declined to 18,408.69, losing around 220 points in the process, is currently down with a loss of 167.36 points or 0.9% at 18,451.51. The broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is down 49 points or 0.87% at 5617.95.
Information technology stocks are seeing some heavy selling amid worries about the near term outlook for the U.S. economy on the back of a looming fiscal cliff. Metal, automobile and healthcare stocks are also mostly trading weak.
Several stocks from oil and FMCG sectors are down in negative territory. Bank, capital goods and realty stocks are trading off their lows. Select power stocks have edged higher. Consumer durables stocks are outperforming the market. After a weak spell, midcap and smallcap stocks are finding fairly good support in afternoon trade.
Jindal Steel & Power and Tata Steel are trading lower by 2.6% at Rs 367.80 ad Rs 376, respectively. Hindalco is down with a loss of 2% at Rs 111.10 and Sterlite Industries is down 1.7% at Rs 98.70.
Wipro, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, the IT heavyweights, are down 2.3%, 2% and 1.8f%, respectively. HCL Technologies rose to a multi-year high on strong buying support on hopes the company will big deals in the infrastructure sector.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Tata Motors, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, ITC, Hero Motocorp, Cipla, ONGC, Mahindra & Mahindra and Reliance Industries are down 1% - 2.2%. Bajaj Auto, Reliance Industries and State Bank of India are also trading notably lower.
United Breweries, which posted some strong gains in recent sessions, is down 9% at Rs 796 on profit taking. Hexaware Technologies, GMR Infrastructure, Ultratech Cement, Pantaloon Retail, Shree Cement, Muthoot Financial, HDIL, NDMC, Voltas and Petronet LNG are all trading lower by 3% - 6%.
Bharti Airtel is trading stronger by 3.2%. Hindustan Unilever, BHEL, Coal India, HDFC, Maruti Suzuki and GAIL India are up 0.3% - 1%.